Posted on September 24th, 2012 by pajamapress
“While the story is told from Tuyet’s viewpoint, it is a non-fiction account, written for an eight-12 age group and illustrated with black-and-white photographs of Tuyet and the Morrises, who became her family.
Skrypuch, who has published a number of both picture books and juvenile novels, many on the theme of Ukrainian immigration, does a good job of portraying Tuyet’s feelings as she faces the uncertainties of a new country, a new home and frightening surgery.”
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Posted on September 21st, 2012 by pajamapress
“As the North Vietnamese entered Saigon, missionaries rushed to evacuate the most vulnerable orphans: healthy ones might find new homes, but “children with disabilities—like Tuyet—would be killed.” Tuyet, eight, lame from polio, has cared for babies for as long as she can remember. With her help, fifty or so of these tiny orphans are loaded, two to a box, for what proved to be the last such flight to Canada; once there, it is Tuyet who shows their new caregivers that the wailing infants awaiting adoption could be comforted by letting them sleep together on blankets spread on the floor, as they’d always been—an emotional need she shares, as her adoptive family realizes after Tuyet spends a sleepless night alone in her new bedroom. A concluding note describes the return of Tuyet’s memories during conversations with the author, whose third-person re-creation of these transitional months in 1975 makes vivid the uncertainties of confronting a new language, climate, and family. Tuyet’s initial misapprehensions are telling (those points of light in the Canadian sky aren’t bombs but stars), as is her cautious, unfailingly coureous approach to a life that includes such unfamiliar things as play and ample food. Fortunately, her adoptive family is not only well-meaning but loving, creative, and sensitive. An excellent first step on the ladder that leads to such fine immigrant tales as Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out & Back Again (rev. 3/11). Illustrated with photos. Notes; further resources; index.”
–Joanna Rudge Long, The Horn Book Magazine, September/October 2012
Posted on September 11th, 2012 by pajamapress
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Tuyet Yurczyszyn (born Son Thi Anh Tuyet, later Tuyet Morris), met with Brantford Expositor journalist Michelle Ruby this week to talk about One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way. The book, written by Marsha about Tuyet’s experiences as a young refugee in Canada, is the sequel to Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War, which tells of Tuyet’s rescue from Vietnam and adoption into the Morris family in Canada.
Click here to read the interview.
Posted on September 10th, 2012 by pajamapress
“Just as she so eloquently did in Last Airlift, Marsha Skrypuch gently takes the reader by the hand to observe the young girl’s new life from Tuyet’s viewpoint… Not the princess dreams and perfect endings of fairy tales, Tuyet’s story is all the more satisfying when her anxieties and confusions are resolved fittingly, just as her shoes are, though not perfectly, and provide the hope necessary to help her take her next steps. A wonderful tale of making things fit, whether they be people or shoes.”
– Helen Kubiw
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Posted on May 30th, 2012 by pajamapress
“Thought-provoking, heartrending and inspirational, author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s first non-fiction book chronicles one woman’s account of a little-known piece of Canadian history: the Ontario government-sponsored Operation “Babylift.”
In April 1975, South Vietnamese orphans were airlifted from Saigon and flown to Ontario where they were adopted by Canadian families. This military maneuver saved interracial babies (with American blood) and disabled children from being killed… Written from the perspective of eight-year-old Tuyet, who is crippled from polio, the book gives the reader vivid insight into life in a Saigon orphanage where children never see the sky and subsist amidst a soundtrack of warfare. Tuyet’s story reveals not only the privations and misplacement caused by war but the assumptions made by well-meaning people about the desirability of Western customs and middle-class values. Plentiful food, her own room and her first family initially cause Tuyet mistrust, discomfort and even terror.
This simply written but masterfully perceptive story of human resilience and courage belongs on every school and public library shelf. Although it could be read aloud to Grade 3 students and independently by Grades 4 to 8 students (e.g., for social studies or language units), the narrative easily captures an adult. Forchuk Skrypuch, who has received numerous awards for her historical novels, enriches this slender book with photos and official documents. Historical and author’s notes, detailing relevant background to Tuyet’s plight and the author’s research methods, make engaging additions alongside a list of further resources and an index.”
Posted on May 18th, 2012 by pajamapress
[Last Airlift] would make a wonderful story, even if it were completely made up. But it’s not. Last Airlift is 100% nonfiction…At the same time, it reads like a novel, with characters and dialogue, bringing the experience of a young refugee vividly to life…Highly recommended to history fans, native North Americans interested in other cultures, and kids who love survival stories. –Lindsay Carmichael
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Posted on April 16th, 2012 by pajamapress
In this interview Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch discusses Last Airlift, its upcoming sequel, and the merits of children’s non-fiction on Nash Holos Ukranian Roots Radio in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Listen to the interview here.