Painful memories of Vietnam War explored in poignant story

Misa Shikuma January 3, 2016 0

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In this sequel to Last Airlift: a Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War, Canadian author Marsha Skrypuch continues the inspiring real-life saga of Tuyet who, as a young refugee, is adjusting to her new life in the peaceful suburbs of a Canadian town.

While still haunted by nightmares and painful memories of the Vietnam War, One Step at a Time sees Tuyet facing a different kind of threat—polio. Encouraged by her adoptive siblings and supported by her new parents, it’s up to her to find the courage to undergo the procedures and treatments that could alter her life forever. For even though she has long been self-conscious of her affected leg, Tuyet fears, as many of us do, the sometimes unpredictable effects of medical intervention. Of course, the process is even more difficult for the young heroine because the language barrier prevents her from fully grasping what the doctors and social workers are trying to do.

Although aimed at a beginning reading level, One Step at a Time deals with some tough issues from a dark period of history that young readers are probably unfamiliar with. But as a poignant story of compassion, perseverance and recovery, Skrypuch’s writing provides a platform for opening a dialogue on the repercussions of war and violence, as well as global health in regard to polio. As such, the story is perfect for bringing together multiple generations of readers.

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