Adrift at Sea is the true story of Tuan Ho, a young Vietnamese boy who escapes his country’s military regime in 1981 and becomes part of the wave of “boat people” refugees hoping to reach America. Given no other options but to leave their homeland in hopes of a better life, Tuan describes and recounts the horrors of leaving everything behind and having to escape into an unknown world. His journey to freedom begins on a dark and hazy night when a truck drops them off close to the water’s edge. Running for their lives, dodging soldiers and their bullets, they are picked up in a skiff. Still narrowly avoiding gunfire, the overcrowded skiff takes them to a fishing boat further out in the sea. Having escaped the many bullets shot at them by the military police, Tuan and his family unfortunately find themselves going from one dire situation to another, as Tuan and his family find themselves adrift at sea in the hot and humid Pacific Ocean. As his family and the many people aboard the ship gaze upon the ocean floor for any sign of hope, they can’t help but notice the many others who were on the same frightening journey to freedom. Seeing nothing but hopelessness, tragedy, and panic on the ocean floor, Tuan’s mother quickly realizes something lying beneath the ocean floor that would turn around their fortunes and deliver them a glimmer of hope. As Tuan and his family are delivered to safety, they can take comfort in knowing that it can only get better from here. Filled with colorful and vibrant drawings that engages readers from start to finish, Adrift at Sea is a powerful historical nonfiction story.

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