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Escape From Saigon

How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy

By Andrea Warren

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Review by Allison Martin

This is the true story, told in narrative form, of the adoption of a young boy from Vietnam during Operation Babylift in 1975. When the US withdrew from Vietnam, hundreds of babies and children were brought our of orphanages by plane out and adopted in the United States and many other countries around the world in very short time. Matt Steinour (known as Long when in Vietnam) was born to a Vietnamese mother (who died when he was 5) and American father (who disappeared when he was 2). He was taken to the Holt orphanage when he was 7 by his grandmother when she could no longer afford to care for him. After living there for a while he was adopted by the Steinour family and flown to the United States during Operation Babylift.

Andrea Warren is an professional writer and this shows in the factual research, movement and quality of this book. The descriptions of Matt Steinour's early life in Vietnam, Operation Babylift (including the tragic crash of one of the planes), his adjustment to his new family and life in the United States, and his homeland visit to Vietnam, are well written and engrossing. Older children and adults interested in adoption and in the Babylift will enjoy this remarkable story and accompanying photographs.

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