Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘biography’

Orphans in Childrens’ Literature review of Last Airlift

Posted on June 11th, 2013 by pajamapress

Last Airlift is a great addition to the classroom library because it is non-fiction, which I would promote as much as possible.  The story provides integration with history as it will provoke discussion of the Vietnam War.”

Click here to read the full review.

-Leslie Mayer

Three Pajama Press books featured on Bank Street Best Books list 2013

Posted on May 26th, 2013 by pajamapress

Pajama Press is pleased to announce that all three of the books we published in our first season have been selected for Bank Street College of Education’s “Best Children’s Books of the Year 2013” list.

No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs by Rob Laidlaw and Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch appear in the Information Books section for ages nine to twelve, while True Blue by Deborah Ellis was selected for Fiction ages fourteen and up.

Congratulations to Rob, Marsha and Deborah.

Click here to view the full list.

 

Library Matters reviews Last Airlift

Posted on May 21st, 2013 by pajamapress

Last Airlift won the non-fiction Red Cedar Club Award this year. All the students at Dickens who have read it enjoyed it immensely. I even have a couple creating a book trailer for it.

Because I hadn’t yet got around to reading it, last weekend I took it home. It is indeed a great and emotional read. (Imagine me sitting on the ferry trying to surreptitiously wipe tears from my eyes.) It deals gently with a difficult topic.”

Click here to read the full review.

Last Airlift wins the Red Cedar Award

Posted on May 9th, 2013 by pajamapress

Congratulations to Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, whose book Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War has just won the Red Cedar Information Book Award.

More than 2,000 votes were cast by students across British Columbia for this year’s Red Cedar Awards. To learn more, visit the Red Cedar website.

Last Airlift has also been nominated for the OLA Forest of Reading Red Maple Nonfiction Award, to be announced on Wednesday, May 18 at the Festival of Trees in Toronto. Pajama Press is delighted and honoured by the reception this wonderful title has received.

“Readers will be…riveted” —The Horn Book Magazine on One Step at a Time

Posted on March 4th, 2013 by pajamapress

“Skrypuch’s Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War (rev. 9/12) told the dramatic story of eight-year-old Tuyet’s 1975 rescue from Saigon aboard a giant plane filled with babies in cardboard boxes. This sequel describes Tuyet’s adjustment to life with her adoptive Canadian family, the story’s drama this time revolving around the surgery she must have on her leg. Polio has left Tuyet with one leg that’s weak and smaller than the other: “Her ankle turned inward, making her foot useless. She had to limp on the bone of her ankle to get around.” Memories of fire, bombs, helicopters, and a hospital—things she thought she’d forgotten—come flooding back, and Tuyet is all alone in the hospital (no parents allowed) and knows no English. Readers will be just as riveted to this quieter but no-less-moving story as Tuyet bravely dreams of being able to run and play—a new concept for a girl who has spent her days caring for babies. Especially satisfying is Skrypuch’s portrayal of Tuyet’s growing trust in her adoptive family, whose love and affection never fail to amaze and thrill her. Illustrated with photos. Includes notes, further resources, and an index.”

—jennifer m. brabander

Love Builds Families adoption website reviews One Step at a Time

Posted on February 13th, 2013 by pajamapress

Tuyet was born in Vietnam and raised in an orphanage until a family in the US adopts her.  Tuyet was stricken with polio which has left her leg weak and her foot twisted.  She needs to have a series of operations to help her walk again and this is her story.  Tuyet doesn’t speak English and is very scared about what is happening, but her parents find people to translate for her to help her along until she learns English.  This is a story of bravery, love, and courage.

Click here to read the full post.

Last Airlift Takes Manhattan

Posted on February 11th, 2013 by pajamapress

Bookworm Buddies, the blog of the Manhattan Public Library, recently posted this review of Last Airlift:

“When this book came in, I started flipping through it at my desk because the topic reminded me of a Laotian refugee who was in my class when I was in 2nd grade.  I had to give up my lunch hour to keep reading because I couldn’t put the book down once I started.  Tuyet’s story is so amazing. It beings in a crowded Saigon orphanage in April 1975, where Tuyet was one of the older children who had lived at the orphanage her entire life. She helped care for the little ones and put up with bullies and got along as well as she could despite her leg that was damaged by polio.  On April 11, something scary and amazing happened. The babies from the orphanage were placed in cardboard boxes and put in a car, and Tuyet was called to go along with them. She did not know where she was going or why.  American soldiers then packed all the babies into a huge airplane. Tuyet did not think she would be going in, too, but then a woman carried her to the plane that she said would take her away from the war to safety.  Significantly, this Hercules plane was the last Canadian “babylift” to leave Saigon with refugees.  And this is just the beginning of Tuyet’s adventure, full of frightening new things and sounds, language she did not understand, and little to comfort her.  Luckily, Tuyet was adopted into a loving family and given a new chance in life…”—Jennifer

Click here to read the full review.

Apples with Many Seeds reviews Last Airlift

Posted on February 4th, 2013 by pajamapress

“The author conveys the desperate, rushed and tense atmosphere.  We too feel claustrophobic as the door of the airplane shuts and the heat and smell closes in around us and Tuyet.  Everyone seems kind to Tuyet but she has no understanding of why things are happening to her.  Was she selected to help with the babies like she did at the orphanage or because she has one weak ankle and foot, the result of polio?  Where is she going?  What will happen to her once she arrives?

… the story is fascinating.  Being Canadian, I think of the Vietnam War as an American war.  Growing up during the 70s, even in small town Alberta, there were many ‘boat people’ settling into our schools and communities but I didn’t really know specific stories.  Film, TV, and media usually depicted the American situation.  I’ve seen footage of Vietnamese people desperately trying to get onto to aircraft as they were leaving Saigon.  I hadn’t realized that Canada had much involvement.”—Tammy Flanders

Click here to read the full review.

One Step at a Time is “inspiring” —School Library Journal

Posted on January 21st, 2013 by pajamapress

“In this continuation of Last Airlift  (Pajama Press, 2012), eight-year-old Tuyet is now adjusting to life with her Canadian adoptive family, the Morrises. She is uneasy about sleeping alone after years in a crowded orphanage and is troubled by recurring nightmares of the war. In addition to the trauma she has endured, Tuyet suffers from the painful effects of having had polio. One of the book’s many touching scenes occurs when Mrs. Morris buys the child her first new footwear. She delights at the prospect of getting shiny red shoes, even though the left one could not be worn, due to her shrunken leg and twisted foot. Her mother does not give up until she finds a soft, red slipper that fits over Tuyet’s left foot, making the pair complete. Skrypuch only describes Tuyet’s first operation and subsequent therapy, and her first steps using a leg brace, an orthopedic shoe, and crutches. In her notes, she details five additional surgeries, ending with the operation that made the child’s legs the same length. To capture accurate details more than three decades after these events happened, the author interviewed Tuyet’s two adoptive sisters, her surgeon, and the hospital archivist as well as Tuyet herself. A historical note about the eradication of polio in North America and suggestions for ways to help make universal vaccination a reality are appended. The black-and-white cover photo of Tuyet’s face looking apprehensive and earnest is of a better quality than the handful of rather grainy ones in the text. An inspiring story that will appeal to a wide audience.”

Deborah Vose, Highlands Elementary School, Braintree, MA

Resource Links calls One Step at a Time “eye-opening”

Posted on November 9th, 2012 by pajamapress

One Step at a Time is an easy-to-read book about Tuyet, a Vietnamese girl adopted by a Canadian family. It is the sequel to Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War and picks up where that book leaves off. Tuyet suffers great pain from having a weak ankle. Just weeks after her adoption, her new family decides Tuyet should have surgery to correct the problem. Tuyet goes through the surgery, learns to use crutches, and takes physiotherapy in the hope of one day being able to walk confidently on her own two feet.

At the same time, Tuyet, who speaks little English, is learning about her new family, new home, and new culture and is healing from terrifying experiences in Vietnam. Events that seem ordinary to many Canadian children are extraordinary for Tuyet, and we share her confusion and delight as situations—such as a flaming cake and a pile of pretty boxes, or the passing of a crop-dusting airplane—begin to resolve into meaning.

This is a gentle non-fiction telling of a particular period in Canadian history and of the experience of being a new immigrant with health concerns. Notes in the end matter provide some useful context for readers who may not understand the significance of polio or the conventions of narrative non-fiction. Black-and-white photos, including pictures of Tuyet and her family, add to the reading experience. Although Tuyet’s experiences are unusual and sometimes frightening, the narrative is full of love, kindness, and comfort.

One Step at a Time is a good choice for sensitive young readers interested in non-fiction about other children, other cultures, and recent history; it may be eye-opening for many readers. Although aspects of Canadian culture have changed, the disorientation that new Canadians experience may be similar to Tuyet’s. The book is likely to encourage many questions and wide-ranging discussion in a reading group, and the story is highly likeable. Readers do not need to know the author’s earlier book about Tuyet to understand this one, but many will want to read more about this brave and spirited girl.

Rating: G – Good, even great at times, generally useful!

—Leslie Vermeer