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

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 ...

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

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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.


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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429958103
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 146,995
  • File size: 321 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.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 The Half-Open Door 1

2 A Voice in the Silence 17

3 Pineapples and Peacocks 38

4 Beyond the Reach of Angels 51

5 A Superhuman Feat 58

6 Nobody Cares 65

7 The Mother's Tale 80

8 The Rat 88

9 Message from the Gulag 97

10 The Sour Grape 105

11 A Narrow Escape 119

12 Babes in the Wood 128

13 Cognac and Chocolate 137

14 Groundhog Day 147

15 The Blame Game 151

16 Narrow Escape [Reprise] 156

17 The Empire Strikes Back 162

18 Christmas Pudding in July 184

19 The Caged Bird 195

20 One of Us 199

21 Candle Power 211

22 Potentially Very Good News 221

23 Ticket to Santa Barbara 228

24 An Evil Trick 231

25 A Prisoner of the Caucasus 237

26 A White Lie 243

27 Unforgiven 248

28 Reunited 254

29 A Bit of Sleuthing 259

30 The Sister's Tale 267

31 The Vanya Effect 275

Epilogue: The Boy from Bethlehem 280

How This Book Came to Be Written 285

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 23, 2009

    Amazing....

    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!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2009

    Well Written and Absorbing

    Against all odds, John Lahutsky manages to escape a bureaucratic nightmare. His well written story will keep you interested and inspired.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2012

    I read this book for a book report I had to due in one of my Com

    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!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2009

    remarkable story...

    I hope many readers will get to read this brave boy's story of survival and hope.

    :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Inspiring

    Such an inspiring but sad story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2011

    Poorly written and creepy

    I come from a mostly eastern-european background and my grandfather was adopted from a gulag in Hungary. I read this book hoping to find information and similar stories to that of my grandfather. However, the author is obsessed with this child to the point where it becomes creepy, flat out ignoring the other children that were stuck in the baby-house (they only get a side-note at the end of the novel.) She also becomes obsessive about Russian culture. It's fine to want to learn about your adopted child's culture, but it just seems a little much.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    The Boy from Baby House 10....

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2009

    Captivating and inspiring

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    Amazing Story

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2014

    I have had the great pleasure of personally knowing John. Althou

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Jade

    Lays in my bed

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    I need a baby rper

    For my newborn anne she was born yesterday. We are located at ang all results

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2011

    A story that everyone should read

    I had many emotions while reading this book & there were times that I had to put it down & walk away because it was hard to read. Children are the most precious gift that anyone can receive & reading John's story & what he as well as the other children battled daily caused tears & anger. I was moved by John will for life. His is a story that will inspire and have you thinking about how priceless life really is. Thank you for sharing your story!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    truly amazing read

    from the first page this book is hauntingly remarkable. i was emotional throughout the entire read, horrified that such neglect exists even today. i have always considered adoption, after reading this book i have turned my focus into adopting from russia. there are no words to describe the admiration i have for the people that fought to save john, i'm not a religious person but you have definitely made me question angels and miracles.

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  • Posted April 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Gripping, powerful and emotional!

    A must-read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2011

    Amazing

    I never write reviews on books but I had to now. This book was absolutely incredible. It was emotionally one of the hardest books I have ever read, but it was also one of the most touching stories I've ever heard and the ending was beautiful. Be prepared with tissues because you will cry. I definitely held my son (who has a mild form of Cerebral Palsy) a bit closer and counted my blessings tenfold after I finished this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews

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