Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War

Author(s): Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Biography & Autobiography

Tuyet used to dream of being adopted. But it is the end of the Vietnam War, and Tuyet's Saigon orphanage is full of perfect babies and toddlers. Who would want an eight-year-old girl with a leg weakened by polio? Even when the city is invaded and strangers rush her onto a plane bound for North America, Tuyet is sure she is only there to care for the fifty-six babies on board. She couldn't possibly be bound for a family of her own...could she? "Last Airlift" is the true story of one girl's escape from war-torn Vietnam. "School Library Journal" said, "The author tells Tuyet's story with respect and dignity, introducing readers to a brave girl caught up in the turbulent times of her country, her fears of leaving what she knew, and the joy of finding a new life. Archival and family photos are included throughout, as are a historical note explaining the circumstances surrounding the airlift and an author's note with follow-up information about Tuyet. Her story will appeal to a broad range of readers."


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Winner of Red Cedar Information Book Award, British Columbia 2013 (Canada). Runner-up for Red Maple Nonfiction Award, Ontario Library Association 2013 (Canada). Short-listed for Cybils Award 2013 (United States) and Cooperative Children's Book Centre Award 2013 (United States) and Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award 2012 (Canada) and Hamilton Literary Children's and Young Adult Award 2012 (Canada) and Ontario Library Association Best Bets Selection 2012 (Canada) and Bank Street Best Book 2013 (United States).

Immediate and compelling, this moving refugee story deserves a wide audience. Kirkus An excellent first step on the ladder that leads to such fine immigrant tales as Thanhha Lai's Inside Out & Back Again. Horn Book Magazine The author tells Tuyet's story with respect and dignity, introducing readers to a brave girl caught up in the turbulent times of her country, her fears of leaving what she knew, and the joy of finding a new life. School Library Journal Tuyet's remarkable true story recounts the heroic rescue on a plane bigger than her orphanage, with babies hurriedly placed in cardboard boxes and an unknown future for all. With the new foods, her own bed, eating with a fork, using a toothbrush (instead of her fingers and some salt), walking on grass (instead of rice paddies), and learning that the lights in the nighttime sky are stars instead of bombs, it's her adjustment to a foreign land and an adopted family that proves most fascinating. Booklist Last Airlift is the story of an heroic deed, of one young girl's courage and resourcefulness when she most needs it, and of the ending she could not foresee ... **Highly Recommended.** CM Magazine [The] biographical approach helps to humanize a war that, for most readers, may seem like ancient history, and the tight focus on the airlift and Tuyet's first days with the Morrises reminds readers that they are sharing the experiences of an agemate. Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch never strays from Tuyet's child-centered perspective in recounting her experiences. In an author's note, Skrypuch describes interviewing Tuyet (obviously now an adult), who found that she remembered more and more of the past as she talked. Dialogue takes this narrative out of the category of pure nonfiction, but Tuyet's story, with its occasional black-and-white illustrations, is no less affecting because of it. Cooperative Center for Children's Books Choices Enhanced with documents and a surprising number of photographs, Airlift is a touching, multi-layered experience. The strength of Skrypuch's storytelling shows strongest in the smallest details. Smithsonian Institute Book Dragon Black and white photographs and documents supplement this biographical tale. Told from the point of view of this eight year old girl, the story is quite informative and compelling. Readers who enjoy biographies will find much to admire in Tuyet. Youth Services Book Reviews

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's award-winning books for young people include Last Airlift, a Red Cedar Information Book Award winner and OLA Red Maple Honour Book. Its sequel, One Step at a Time, won the OLA Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award. Her YA novel Dance of the Banished is a Junior Library Guild Selection for 2015. In 2008, in recognition of her outstanding achievement in the development Ukraine's culture, Marsha was awarded the Order of Princess Olha. She lives in Brantford, Ontario.

General Fields

  • : 9780986949517
  • : Pajama Press
  • : Pajama Press
  • : 0.159
  • : October 2013
  • : 204mm X 147mm X 8mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
  • : Paperback / softback
  • : 959.704
  • : 99
  • : black & white halftones