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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
their first.

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.

Lesson Set


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Pages: 82
Languages: English
ISBN: 9780866475167
Author: Tana Reiff, Tyler Stiene
Publisher: Pro Lingua
Place Of Publication: United States
Published: 04 Aug 2020
About Author
  • Tana Reiff
    Tana Reiff
    Tana Reiff holds a B.S. degree in elementary education and a master’s in secondary English with a concentration in applied linguistics. She has taught adult basic education, ESL, and college-level linguistics, and worked in multimedia communications for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She is the author of dozens of hi-lo books for readers of all ages.
  • Tyler Stiene
    Tyler Stiene
    Series illustrator, Tyler Stiene graduated with a bachelor’s degree in illustration and a minor in drawing from the Maine College of Art before moving abroad to teach English. During his time as an English teacher, he traveled and taught in a diverse variety of countries, including South Korea, Ethiopia, Singapore, and the U.S. Tyler holds a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from SIT Graduate Institute. He lives in Binghamton, New York.
About Publisher
  • Pro Lingua
    Pro Lingua is a small publishing company located in Brattleboro, Vermont. We dedicate ourselves to producing superior language teaching materials. We sell our books directly to teachers and schools and through all bookstores and major distributors in the United States and overseas. Our full catalogue of materials is also available here in our website bookstore at www.ProLinguaAssociates.com. A bit of philosophy: At Pro Lingua, our objective is to foster an approach to learning and teaching which we call Interplay, the interaction of language learners and teachers with their materials, with the language and the culture, and with each other in active, creative and productive play.