The Family from Vietnam, begins in April, 1975. The Vietnamese War is ending. The South
Vietnamese government, supported by the U.S., is collapsing. The North Vietnamese army is coming
closer and closer to the South Vietnamese capital, Saigon. Villages are burned; many people are killed.
The Americans are helping people escape from the country. People are leaving by boat, plane, and
helicopter. At first they are taken to refugee camps in Asia and then to refugee centers in the United
Here is a brief story summary: As Saigon falls in 1975, the Nguyen family, Mai and Set and their three
children, escape by helicopter from the roof of the U.S. embassy, but they are separated. Mai, with her
two smaller children, go alone to Guam and eventually to Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania. Set and
Vinh, their older son, are taken to a camp in the Philippines. Set eventually is settled in California.
Long months go by. Separated by 2,500 miles, Mai and Set begin to adapt to American culture. But
with determined faith and hope, and help from friends, the Nguyens never give up on their search to
find each other.
This historical novel was written and designed to help learners of English and American native
speakers working on literacy skills. The language is easy to read and the layout – the way the type
appears in short lines that look like poetry – is intended to suggest the natural, grammatical flow of
the language. This makes it very easy to follow from line to line while reading. Learners will have the
satisfaction of reading, enjoying, and completing an entire novel in English. In some cases it may be
The text was read dramatically, chapter by chapter, by a native English speaker. Learners can click on
the music icons which will open an audio player (a control bar) so that they can listen to the recording.
Although this is a reading book, listening to the audio will help learners with their pronunciation, with
the stress and intonation, the rhythm, the music of spoken English.
Reading exciting historical fiction makes the history of America, a nation of immigrants, come alive.
Tana Reiff has based the story of this brief novel on careful research. The characters and plot are based
on real people and what happened to them when they followed their hopes and dreams and made new
lives. Each reader knows that this challenge has never been easy in the real world, and that is the power
of this story.
Use the table of contents in the black bar on to the left of the pages to move among the chapters and to
the glossary explaining words and terms used in the story.
Using the following link will open a rich resource of teacher support material, including historical
photos and background, some worksheets with comprehension questions, a book report form, wordplay
vocabulary activities, and discussion topics. All of these materials can be used by learners working on
their own or with a tutor. A teacher can also use them with an online class.
Another useful link: A Social Studies Lesson Set for ABE Literacy Students by Anita Caref
and Emma Meade. This Social Studies material is designed to work with Nobody Knows and The
Magic Paper, but it can be adapted for use with other classes and all the other novels in this series.
|Author:||Tana Reiff, Tyler Stiene|
|Place Of Publication:||United States|
|Published:||04 Aug 2020|