Last Airlift won the non-fiction Red Cedar Club Award this year. All the students at Dickens who have read it enjoyed it immensely. I even have a couple creating a book trailer for it.
Because I hadn't yet got around to reading it, last weekend I took it home. It is indeed a great and emotional read. (Imagine me sitting on the ferry trying to surreptitiously wipe tears from my eyes.) It deals gently with a difficult topic.
It is the true story of Tuyet, a young girl who was on the last plane taking children (mostly babies and toddlers) out of Vietnam just as the war was coming to a close. According to the notes at the end of the book, the Vietcong were planning on fostering all the children with families and killing the ones that were either half American or not perfect. Tuyet, because of her deformed leg and foot, was sent with the rest of the younger children out of the country. This book follows her on her journey from her home in the orphanage to a new home in Canada. It helps us understand how challenging it was for her even when she reached the safety of her new country and a loving family.
This would make a great companion book to Inside Out and Back Again.