This week’s contender for Children’s Book of the Year was Anh Do’s inspirational story about his family’s incredible escape from war-torn Vietnam and his childhood in Australia, told especially for children.
Giant waves crashed down on our little boat. I was terrified but my mum hugged me tight and told me, ‘Everything will be okay. Don’t worry, it will be okay.’
Anh Do nearly didn’t make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. It was a dangerous journey, with murderous pirates and terrifying storms, but they managed to survive. Life in suburban Australia was also hard for a small boy with no English and funny lunches. But there was a loving extended family, lots of friends, and always something to laugh about for Anh, his brother Khoa and their sister Tram. And eventually for a young Anh, who tried hard to see the bright side of life no matter what the difficulty, there was triumph.
The students were riveted to this compelling tale and spoke of the family’s victories in times of trouble as their favourite parts of the story. We will be continuing our work with this book next week.