Anne Patton’s books for children include Fiddle Dancer and Dancing in My Bones – books that explore Metis culture through the world of dance – and the Tyler collection for Scholastic Education. Fiddle Dancer was nominated for a Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Award, while Dancing in My Bones was the recipient of the 2010 Moonbeam Spirit Award. Full Steam to Canada, the first book in the Barr Colony Adventure series, was the winner of the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild John V Hicks Unpublished Long Manuscript Award. Born in Ontario, Anne taught elementary school in Regina for many years, before retirement launched her into a career as a prolific children’s author.
Inspired by the author's childhood experience as a refugee—fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama—this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration.
Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America.
This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny."
An author's note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà's story. This updated digital edition also includes an interview with the author, an activity you can do with your family, tips on writing poetry, and discussion questions.
"America," the girl repeated. "What will you do there?"
I was silent for a little time.
"I will do everything there," I answered.
Rifka knows nothing about America when she flees from Russia with her family in 1919. But she dreams that in the new country she will at last be safe from the Russian soldiers and their harsh treatment of the Jews. Throughout her journey, Rifka carries with her a cherished volume of poetry by Alexander Pushkin. In it, she records her observations and experiences in the form of letters to Tovah, the beloved cousin she has left behind.
Strong-hearted and determined, Rifka must endure a great deal: humiliating examinations by doctors and soldiers, deadly typhus, separation from all she has ever known and loved, murderous storms at sea, detainment on Ellis Island--and is if this is not enough, the loss of her glorious golden hair.
Based on a true story from the author's family, Letters from Rifka presents a real-life heroine with an uncommon courage and unsinkable spirit.