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Children's Nonfiction Cultural Heritage

One Step at a Time

A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way

by (author) Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Pajama Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2013
Cultural Heritage, New Experience, Adoption
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2013
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2013
    List Price
    $17.95 USD

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7


Tuyet cannot believe her good fortune. Brought up in a Vietnamese orphanage and rescued from the invading North Vietnamese army, she has been adopted by a kind and loving family in Canada. Tuyet feels safe at last as she adjusts to a new language and unfamiliar customs. But polio has left her with a weak leg, and her foot is turned inward, making walking painful and difficult. There is only one answer; she must have a series of operations. Her dread of doctors and the hospital brings back troubling memories of helicopters, a field hospital, and another operation in Vietnam. It won’t stop Tuyet, despite her fears and her overwhelming shyness. She has always dreamed of having two straight legs, of walking and running, of playing with other children, of owning a pair of shoes that actually match. Now that she has been given a chance, Tuyet is determined to do what it takes to finally stand on her own two feet.

About the author


Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch est l’auteure d’une dizaine de livres dont Cher Journal : Prisonniers de la grande forêt, Enfant volée, Soldat clandestin et Faire des bombes pour Hitler. Elle a remporté de nombreux prix et est l’une des auteures canadiennes de romans historiques pour les jeunes les plus respectées. L’écriture de Marsha met en relief son héritage ukrainien. Elle a reçu l’Ordre de la princesse Olga de la part du président ukrainien. Elle vit à Brantford, en Ontario.


MARSHA FORCHUK SKRYPUCH is the author of more than a dozen books, including Dear Canada: Prisoners in the Promised Land, Stolen Child, Making Bombs for Hitler, Underground Soldier and Don’t Tell the Enemy. She has won many awards for her work and is one of Canada’s most respected authors of historical fiction for young people. Much of Marsha’s writing focuses on stories from her Ukrainian heritage, and she has been presented with the Order of Princess Olha by the President of Ukraine and named a Canadian Ukrainian Woman of Distinction. Marsha lives in Brantford, Ontario. Visit her online at

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's profile page

Librarian Reviews

One Step at a Time: A Vietnamese Child Finds Her Way

Vietnamese-born Tuyet has escaped her war-torn homeland and found a loving family in Canada.Tuyet dreams of running and playing with her adopted siblings, but her leg has been weakened and twisted by polio. Can she face her fear of hospitals and the traumatic memories they awaken if it means walking in matching shoes at last?

This sequel to the Last Airlift describes a young girl’s experiences when settling into a new home, with which many young readers who have moved to a new environment will identify. This non-fiction selection will likely build sensitivity to understanding other cultures and the turbulent lives that many refugees face. Readers will also cheer for protagonist Tuyet as she undergoes surgeries that will allow her to walk on her own.

Teacher’s guide available (

Also available: Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Author available for class visits. @MarshaSkrypuch

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

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