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by Andrea Warren


School Library Journal:

Gr 5-9– Warren relates the story of the 1975 Operation Babylift as seen through the eyes of Long, an eight-year-old Amerasian boy who was part of the airlift. The author uses narrative and reconstructions of conversations from interviews with those involved to trace Long’s life, beginning with his indistinct memories of his American father and his more vivid recollections of his Vietnamese mother’s suicide and his grandmother’s struggle to protect and support him during wartime. She describes his stay at the Saigon orphanage operated by Holt International Children’s Services, which housed, schooled, and arranged for his adoption by an American family. Long recalls the fear and excitement during the fall of Saigon, his journey out of Vietnam, his sorrow at the separation from his grandmother, and his emotional transition to his new identity as Matt Steiner. The book concludes with a moving account of Matt’s 1995 return to Vietnam, where he finally understood the magnitude of the sacrifice his grandmother made for his safety and future. Photos of Long in both Vietnam and America illustrate the text. Although Warren mentions the cruelties of the communist Vietnamese government and America’s abandonment of its South Vietnamese allies, this is a personal story, one that is so well written that it will be sure to hold readers’ attention. An outstanding choice.–Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO –Mary Mueller (Reviewed October 1, 2004) (School Library Journal, vol 50, issue 10, p196)


  • Booklist Editors’ Choice – Books for Youth – Older Readers Category: 2004


5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Family, Loss, Non-fiction, Teen, Vietnam War