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Stories from Vietnam

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A Grain of Rice
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Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 6; 7; 8; 9;

Thirteen-year-old Yen and her family have survived a war, famine and persecution. When a flood ruins their village in rural Vietnam, they take the ultimate risk on a chance for a better life.

Reviews
"Tran-Davies does not shy away from the terrible realities of post-war Vietnam, including the poverty, corruption, and violence that affected its citizens. The events in this novel are based on history and will act as curriculum tie-in for middle school students. Yen is a well-written character, a strong young teen, struggling to understand the world around her. Ma speaks little, but much is learned by her actions. Much is included in this book including many secondary characters and the many political and social issues of the time.Highly Recommended."— CM Magazine

"A suspenseful action story. . . which gives insight into the events that still haunt Canada's Vietnamese population — and the struggles of refugees past and present".— Quill & Quire

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 11-14 (young adult fiction).

Additional Information
168 pages | 5.40" x 8.25"

Authentic Canadian Content
$12.95

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Too Young to Escape
Authors:
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 3; 4; 5; 6; 7;

During the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Van wakes up one morning to find that her mother, her sisters Loan and Lan, and her brother Tuan are gone. They have escaped the new communist regime that has taken over Ho Chi Minh City for freedom in the West. Four-year-old Van is too young--and her grandmother is too old--for such a dangerous journey by boat, so the two have been left behind. Once settled in North America, her parents will eventually be able to sponsor them, and Van and her grandmother will fly away to safety. But in the meantime, Van is forced to work hard to satisfy her aunt and uncle, who treat her like an unwelcome servant. And at school she must learn that calling attention to herself is a mistake, especially when the bully who has been tormenting her turns out to be the son of a military policeman.

Van Ho's true story strikes at the heart and will resonate with so many families affected by war, where so many children are forced to live under or escape from repressive regimes.

Reviews
"The story is told from Van's childhood perspective, with age-appropriate vocabulary and emotional heft. But readers of all ages will be immediately drawn to the simple, direct narration....[T]he authors eschew sentimentality and sensationalism, creating a straightforward autobiography that is truthful about resilience and the often unpredictable ways children act and react."—Quill & Quire Starred Review

"As a work of fragmented and painful memories from the time Van was between the ages of four and eight, the narrative is impressively credible, capturing her feelings of confused abandonment, visceral descriptions of her life in Ho Chi Minh City, and gradual adjustment to being separated from her immediate family. Also well integrated are the family's hardened cynicism towards the communist government and their determination to forge on despite poverty and corruption. Family photographs and appended interviews with both Van's parents add a particular poignancy to her narrative."—Booklist

"With simple but engaging language, Skrypuch recounts Van Ho's true story of her lonely and hard life in Vietnam during the years she was separated from her family....This illuminating chapter book respects an often overlooked demographic, providing transitioning readers a truthful yet age-appropriate introduction to big issues that still affect people to this day."—Kirkus Reviews

"[A]n extremely engaging account of a childhood in challenging circumstances....Too Young to Escape is a welcome reminder of the post-Vietnam War refugee crisis that saw Canada, France, the United States and Australia welcome strangers in need. Readers will appreciate hearing this personal story from a child's perspective....Van's story and those of her family members remain timeless as well as time-specific. Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine

"[A] compelling story about the aftermath of war for children....Too Young to Escape offers a piercing firsthand account of the conflict in Vietnam, which continues to resonate in popular culture decades later. The book's plucky young protagonist adds a diverse voice to a literature that continues...to be necessary for today's readers."—Resource Links

"The first-person narrative should hold readers riveted...The importance of family shines through this compelling memoir, and a series of color photographs adds to the emotional impact."—Youth Services Book Review

"Readers will be impressed by Van Ho’s respectful kindness towards her Ba Ngoai and her obedience to her aunt and uncle who, at great risk, have taken in many family members. Van's fortitude in dealing with being left behind, and making the best of her situation are evident in her story....Too Young To Escape is another excellent, well-written book by Canadian Ukrainian author Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch that brings to light recent history in a meaningful way..."—Libris Notes

"Van Ho, who lived this story, tells it through Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's pen of extraordinary writing which reflects both Van’s youthful point of view and her trauma. Her story is disquieting but it's also uplifting, focusing on Van's resilience."—CanLit for LittleCanadians

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 8-12

Additional Information
152 pages | 5.75" x 8.00" | Includes photographic insert

Authentic Canadian Content
$18.95

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