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The Cricket War

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A gripping story of a boy’s escape from Communist Vietnam by boat, based on the author’s own experience.#It’s 1980, and 12-year-old Tho Pham lives with his family in South Vietnam. He spends his afternoons playing soccer and cricket fighting with his friends, but life is slowly changing under the Communists. His parents are worried, and Tho knows the Communist army will soon knock on their door to make his brother, and then him, join them. Still, it shocks him when his father says that arrangements have been made for him to leave Vietnam by boat, immediately. Thọ tries to be brave as he sets out on a harrowing journey toward the unknown. #Co-authors Tho Pham and Sandra McTavish, childhood friends, have loosely based this historical fiction novel on Thọ’s real-life experience as one of the Vietnamese Boat People, and have included many factual details from his journey on the South China Sea and in a Philippine refugee camp. Depictions of pirate attacks, hunger and loneliness make for a riveting survival story, sure to elicit empathy for refugees. Eventually adopted by a Canadian elementary school teacher, Thọ’s story is ultimately one of hope, courage and resilience. It’s a valuable resource for social studies lessons on Asian culture and history, and on immigration.

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A gripping story of a boy’s escape from Communist Vietnam by boat, based on the author’s own experience.##It’s 1980, and 11-year-old Thọ Phạm lives with his family in South Vietnam. He spends his afternoons playing soccer and cricket fighting with his friends, but life is slowly changing under the Communists. His parents are worried, and Thọ knows the Communist army will soon knock on their door to make his brother, and then him, join them. Still, it shocks him when his father says that arrangements have been made for him to leave Vietnam by boat, immediately. Thọ tries to be brave as he sets out on a harrowing journey toward the unknown. #Co-authors Thọ Phạm and Sandra McTavish, childhood friends, have loosely based this historical fiction novel on Thọ’s real-life experience as one of the Vietnamese Boat People, and includes many factual details from his journey on the South China Sea and in a Philippine refugee camp. Depictions of pirate attacks, hunger, and loneliness make for a riveting survival story, sure to elicit empathy for refugees. Eventually adopted by a Canadian elementary school teacher, Thọ’s story is ultimately one of hope, courage, and resilience. It’s a valuable resource for social studies lessons on Asian culture and history and on immigration.

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Hardcover, eBook

AWARDS & REVIEWS

Reviews

"A harrowing yet hopeful account of a compelling journey."

Kirkus Reviews, 26/07/2023

"While the protagonist’s journey is plagued by trauma and upheaval, and the authors detail Phạm’s and other Vietnamese refugees’ experiences to tear-jerking effect, the creators also offer comfort via joyful interactions throughout this carefully crafted, fast-paced read."

Publishers Weekly, 05/09/2023

"This engaging, semifictionalized account is all the more dramatic for its resonance with so many refugees today."

Toronto Star, 19/10/2023

"In clipped and uncomplicated prose, Tho Pham tells the extraordinary story of his life as a young boy caught up in the currents of modern history …"

CM Magazine, 03/11/2023

"Inspiring."

Booklist, 06/12/2023
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