The Boy from Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life in America

The Boy from Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life in America

4.4 48
by Alan Philps
     
 

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In 1990, a young boy afflicted with cerebral palsy was born, prematurely, in Russia. His name was Vanya. His mother abandoned him to the state childcare system and he was sent to a bleak orphanage called Baby House 10. Once there, he entered a nightmare world he was not to leave for more than eight years. Housed in a ward with a group of other children, he was

Overview

In 1990, a young boy afflicted with cerebral palsy was born, prematurely, in Russia. His name was Vanya. His mother abandoned him to the state childcare system and he was sent to a bleak orphanage called Baby House 10. Once there, he entered a nightmare world he was not to leave for more than eight years. Housed in a ward with a group of other children, he was clothed in rags, ignored by most of the staff and given little, if any, medical treatment. He was finally, and cruelly, confined for a time to a mental asylum where he lived, almost caged, lying in a pool of his own waste on a locked ward surrounded by psychotic adults. But, that didn't stop Vanya.

Even in these harsh conditions, he grew into a smart and persistent young boy who reached out to everyone around him. Two of those he reached out to—Sarah Philps, the wife of a British journalist, and Vika, a young Russian woman—realized that Vanya was no ordinary child and they began a campaign to find him a home. After many twists and turns, Vanya came to the attention of a single woman living in the United States named Paula Lahutsky. After a lot of red tape and more than one miracle, Paula adopted Vanya and brought him to the U.S. where he is now known as John Lahutsky, an honors student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and a member of the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow.
In The Boy From Baby House 10, Sarah's hus band, Alan Philps, helps John Lahutsky bring this inspiring true-life story of a small boy with a big heart and an unquenchable will to readers everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Muckraking memoir exposes Russia's nightmarish orphan-care system. Aided by British journalist Philps, Lahutsky recounts his experiences in the "children's gulag," a Stalinist-era relic that operates to this day. Now a high-school student living with his adoptive mother in Pennsylvania, at the time the book opens Lahutsky was a toddler named Vanya, abandoned by his birth mother and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He was sent to the titular orphanage, a decrepit human warehouse whose head doctor was a superstitious peasant rather than a medical professional. Children with physical disabilities like Vanya's were routinely declared mentally retarded by Russian authorities, then consigned to orphanages where therapy was nonexistent. But Baby House 10 was the Taj Mahal compared to the internat (asylum) to which Vanya was later shuttled to spend the rest of his life. A hellhole in which children were sedated and left in steel-barred cribs soiled with their own urine and feces, the internat spurred reporter Philps, his wife and some humane Russian caregivers to make heroic efforts to save Vanya. The book details his tortuous ordeal with the Russian state bureaucracy and an aborted adoption by a British family, as well as his ultimate connection with a loving American mother. None of his setbacks snuffed out Vanya's indefatigable resilience, which was his salvation and comprises the most remarkable part of his story. An emotionally draining but haunting document of human cruelty, kindness and survival.
From the Publisher

“…a reminder of the power, strength and resiliency of the human spirit...” —Bookreporter.com

“This account of a young boy's narrow escape from an oppressive Russian child-care system will shock you, move you, and ultimately inspire you. The book exposes an appalling injustice, then reminds us about the power of persistence, hope, and compassion. Vanya and those who save him are absolutely inspirational.” —Alvin Townley, author of Spirit of Adventure and Legacy of Honor

“Aided by British journalist Philps, Lahutsky recounts his experiences in the 'children's gulag,' a Stalinist-era relic that operates to this day... A haunting document of human cruelty, kindness, and survival.” —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429958103
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/15/2011
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
245,154
File size:
328 KB

Meet the Author

ALAN PHILPS is a reporter for the Telegraph, UK. He lives in London with his wife Sarah. JOHN LAHUTSKY is an American high school student who lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with his mother.


ALAN PHILPS is an experienced foreign correspondent who has worked for Reuters and The Daily Telegraph, UK. He lives in London with his wife Sarah. He is co-author of The Boy from Baby House 10.

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The Boy from Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life in America 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Shinel More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this book after seeing it advertised in a church mailer. My husband & I have been seriously considering adoption for a few months and I wanted some more insight on some things I already knew and had heard about the Russian orphanage/adoption system. John's tale is (and John himself) absolutely remarkable. The amount of heartbreak & pain he suffered is unimaginable... and the amount of happiness he has gained is simply breathtaking. I strongly reccommend this book & will be most likely be purchasing additional copies to give to our family to help explain some things personally. John - if you're reading this - I read a newspaper article online that said you hoped that writing this would "help a child not end up in the same situation I was in in" and I can assure you - it will. The gears were turning before reading your story, you just helped to direct them & turn them faster. Thank you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Against all odds, John Lahutsky manages to escape a bureaucratic nightmare. His well written story will keep you interested and inspired.
Karely526 More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a book report I had to due in one of my Communicative Disorders class. I truly enjoyed reading this book. It is a very inspiring story. In the future I would love to adopt a baby from Russia. (Their ideas on exceptional children is completely wrong.) I had to put it down a couple of times because I would burst out crying but at the same time I could not put it down. It was remarkable!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope many readers will get to read this brave boy's story of survival and hope. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an inspiring but sad story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. I couldn't put it down; however, it's quite sad to see how people are treated in many institutions. I'm so glad that John was able to get out of that horrible situation. I highly recommend this book!
bdalton-alum More than 1 year ago
This book is hard to read, because of its dark subject matter, but also hard to put down, knowing that it is a true story. The tale of this little boy is unbelievably inspiring. After reading every event described I alternately wanted to hug John and lash out at those who hurt or ignored him. His testimony is a real eye-opener, revealing life behind the Iron Curtain even after the fall of the Wall. The vivid descriptions of John's daily life and the accompanying photographs are very poignant. This is a book I have recommended to all of my friends. Superb.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I went to see John at the local B & N for a book signing, but the book was sold out. I managed to get one once they were back in stock and am glad I did. I have 3 children adopted from Russia, and while none of them endured the hardship John did, so many of the images were so real from what I experienced. If anyone is considering adoption, I highly recommend that you consider Eastern Europe. There are many children in need and they obviously thrive once they are brought home. Great book John, and wishes for success in the future.
MalissaD More than 1 year ago
I have had the great pleasure of personally knowing John. Although I grew up with John (after he came to America) I never knew his complete life story. This book was a very emotional read and I highly recommend it. Fantastic work John! 
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Lays in my bed
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For my newborn anne she was born yesterday. We are located at ang all results
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