Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy

by Andrea Warren

Born in 1966 to a Vietnamese mother and an American father, Long spent his early... read more

Born in 1966 to a Vietnamese mother and an American father, Long spent his early years living first in Saigon and then a rural Vietnamese village. His father left the family before Long turned two. After his mother’s suicide when Long was six, his grandmother cared for him. A year later, worried about her increasing inability to provide Long with food and shelter, his grandmother placed him in the Saigon Holt Center, an orphanage that specialized in finding children adoptive homes in the United States. On April 5, 1975, one day after the devastating crash of a C–5A cargo plane carrying 230 orphans and fifty adults out of Saigon, Long flew to America as part of Operation Babylift. He became the fourth and youngest son of the Steiner family of Ohio. Long’ story is placed within the larger picture of the fall of Saigon, the desperation of the Vietnamese families seeking American support, and the attempts of international aid workers to protect the children. The author, herself a parent of an adopted daughter evacuated from Saigon as an infant in 1975, writes about these events with compassion and respect. (Ages 10–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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