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category: Children's Nonfiction
published: Feb 2013
publisher: Pajama Press

One Step at a Time

A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way

by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

tagged: adoption, cultural heritage, new experience

Tuyet cannot believe her good fortune. Brought up in a Vietnamese orphanage and rescued from the invading North Vietnamese army, she has been adopted by a kind and loving family in Canada. Tuyet feels safe at last as she adjusts to a new language and unfamiliar customs. But polio has left her with a weak leg, and her foot is turned inward, making walking painful and difficult. There is only one answer; she must have a series of operations. Her dread of doctors and the hospital brings back troubling memories of helicopters, a field hospital, and another operation in Vietnam. It won’t stop Tuyet, despite her fears and her overwhelming shyness. She has always dreamed of having two straight legs, of walking and running, of playing with other children, of owning a pair of shoes that actually match. Now that she has been given a chance, Tuyet is determined to do what it takes to finally stand on her own two feet.

About the Author
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is a multi-award-winning author of historical fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. Dance of the Banished was a USSBY Outstanding International Book, a White Ravens Selection, and the winner of the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War won the Red Cedar Information Book Award and its sequel, One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way won the OLA Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award. Both were Bank Street Best Books. Her other acclaimed titles include Stolen Child, Making Bombs for Hitler, and Underground Soldier. In 2008, in recognition of her outstanding achievement in the development of the culture of Ukraine, Marsha was awarded the Order of Princess Olha. She lives in Brantford, Ontario.
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
8 to 12
3 to 7

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Librarian review

One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way

Vietnamese-born Tuyet has escaped her war-torn homeland and found a loving family in Canada.Tuyet dreams of running and playing with her adopted siblings, but her leg has been weakened and twisted by polio. Can she face her fear of hospitals and the traumatic memories they awaken if it means walking in matching shoes at last?

This sequel to the Last Airlift describes a young girl’s experiences when settling into a new home, with which many young readers who have moved to a new environment will identify. This non-fiction selection will likely build sensitivity to understanding other cultures and the turbulent lives that many refugees face. Readers will also cheer for protagonist Tuyet as she undergoes surgeries that will allow her to walk on her own.

Teacher’s guide available (http://pajamapress.ca/resource/one_step_at_a_time_teaching_guide/)

Also available: Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Author available for class visits. @MarshaSkrypuch

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

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