Leaving Vietnam: The Journey of Tuan Ngo, A Boat Boy

Overview

Tuan Ngo was only ten when he escaped from war-torn Vietnam. But slipping away on a tiny makeshift boat under the cover of night was only the beginning of this young boy's long journey on his way to becoming an American citizen.This is the true first-person telling of Tuan's experience as a boat person and refugee, with stunning art by Melissa Sweet. Full color.

Tells the story of a boy and his father who endure danger and difficulties when they escape by boat from ...

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Overview

Tuan Ngo was only ten when he escaped from war-torn Vietnam. But slipping away on a tiny makeshift boat under the cover of night was only the beginning of this young boy's long journey on his way to becoming an American citizen.This is the true first-person telling of Tuan's experience as a boat person and refugee, with stunning art by Melissa Sweet. Full color.

Tells the story of a boy and his father who endure danger and difficulties when they escape by boat from Vietnam, spend days at sea, and then months in refugee camps before making their way to the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gripping real-life adventures, told in a childlike first-person voice, will keep beginning readers interested in this Ready-to-Read chapter book. Leaving his mother and brothers in their village in South Vietnam, Tuan Ngo joins his father and a group of others fleeing the Viet Cong regime. As they make their way through dark woods Tuan articulates his fears: "If we're caught, we'll be put in a labor camp for five years. My father was in labor camp for six years, and he says that all he ate there were rotten potatoes. I don't want to eat rotten potatoes." Crowded onto a small fishing boat, the refugees are adrift on the South China Sea when the boat breaks down. They are raided by pirates, who steal their few valuables but save their lives by fixing the boat's engine and giving them fuel and water. They spy a German oil tanker, and when the crew ignores them, the desperate escapees put a hole in their own fishing boat so that it starts to sink and the Germans are forced to help. Kilborne (Peach and Blue) also chronicles the seemingly endless waiting: Tuan and his father spend more than a year moving from camp to camp before they are approved for immigration to the U.S. Sweet's (the Pinky and Rex books) abundant watercolors are tender and inviting even when depicting the tensest scenes. Emphasizing Tuan's bond with his father, they project an aura of security that balances the frequently harrowing account. Ages 6-9. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Young Tuan Ngo is awakened by his father in the middle of the night. He dresses in black clothes with his family's gold jewelry hidden in a pocket, takes off his shoes, and follows his father as silently as possible to the waiting boat that will help them escape from Vietnam and the threat of being put in a forced labor camp. In seven brief chapters, we accompany Tuan Ngo and his father through a series of harrowing ordeals, including a pirate attack, a sinking boat, hunger and sickness, until they finally reach America. Told in the first person, from Tuan Ngo's point of view, this exciting story should appeal to a more mature audience than the usual controlled vocabulary reader. An afterword, map and simple watercolor illustrations are included. As this level 3 "Ready-to-Read" book.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4This story of young Tuan Ngos escape from war-torn Vietnam and his journey to freedom will intrigue readers while giving them a glimpse of recent history. The seven chapters are complemented by watercolor illustrations and a simple map of the country. However, the lack of a map orientating readers to the geographic relationship of Vietnam to events and other places in the bookan attack by pirates, the refugee camp islands, and the distance to Americais unfortunate and potentially confusing. Still, the drama of the boys leaving home in the dead of night, his days on a crowded boat, and a number of other incidents will capture the attention of readers. An afterword provides background information on Vietnam and brings Tuan Ngos story up-to-date. This title would work well as a companion to Eve Buntings How Many Days to America (Clarion, 1988) and deserves shelf space.Gale W. Sherman, Pocatello Public Library, ID Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613117661
  • Publisher: Demco Media
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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