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Always With You by Ruth Vander Zee

Always With You

by Ruth Vander Zee

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Heart-rending story that portrays the devastating effects of war on children. Suitable for younger children as well as older children.
  hmoy | Feb 18, 2015 |
Wow. I can not explain how riled up my emotions were as I was reading this picture book. I personally enjoyed this book for its story. The writing of the book would be for 3rd or 4th graders, but the tragic elements of this story seem to be more fitting for 5th or 6th graders. The big idea of this book is to share the cruelties of the Vietnam War for a Vietnam girl. I liked the development of the main character. From losing her mother from a bombing, the author slowly unveils of how the girl found security and safety once more. I also appreciated how the illustrations fit the content of the story. Since the author is honestly sharing her personal life, I appreciated how the illustrations were realistic. This helped me feel that this story is historical and actually happened. I also loved how the illustrator chose watercolor painting for the illustrations. The watercolors bring a soft touch to an intensely tragic story. At the end, I felt like I was reading and listening to someone genuinely share their past.

“I hear my mama's words. I will always be with you. I feel her hand on my head like a blessing. And I am not afraid.” ( )
  yyoon4 | Oct 16, 2014 |
The purpose of this book is to inform young children about the Vietnam War. As the generations pass, the Vietnam War become more and more unfamiliar. This book is based on a true story, so the writer's purpose is to let children know what she went through, first hand.

In my opinion, this is an important book to have in the classroom. Although it is very sad, I think that it is a book that all children should be exposed to. Not only is this book multicultural, but it is also historical fiction. One reason why I like this book is because of the illustrations. For young readers, this is a hard topic to grasp. Losing a mother and having to live in an orphanage, always thinking about your mother. However, the illustrations help create the setting of what Vietnam looked like before and after the war.

I also liked the language used in the book. The way the author described how she felt and what it was like to be in that setting really allows the readers to have a better understanding of what happened during that time period. ( )
  epark6 | Oct 16, 2014 |
"Always with You," is a touching tale about a little girl who is left as an orphan after her mother is killed in an explosion near their village. The little girl is rescued by American soldiers and is taken to an orphanage. The book teaches its readers that with companionship and hope, anyone can get through even the hardest of times. I enjoyed this book for many reasons. The imagery in this book was very impressive. "When I woke everything was hazy. There were no colors." Not only does this speak to the readers, but also the illustrations on the page that this text was stated showed no color. Another aspect of this book that I very much enjoyed was the repetition of the phrase, "don't be afraid, Kim. I will always be with you." Before the mother of the main character died she stated this phrase, and the phrase was repeated as the book progressed. Throughout the book I was continuously impressed by the illustrations. When the little girl is rescued by a group of American soldiers the little girl is drawn in with color, but everything around her is grey. I found this illustration to speak to the readers that this little girl felt all alone, even though she was surrounded by a world of craziness. ( )
  EmilyEgert | Oct 1, 2014 |
It's a beautifully tragic story--probably one of the saddest children's picture books I've read. Kim's mother is killed after a bomb goes off in Vietnam, and Kim is left with only her mother's final words of "I will always be with you." She uses these words as her hope for survival. Through the orphanage and trying to start her life again, Kim holds onto these words dearly. While the story ends with hope, it's not exactly a happy story, but one of courage in the face of utter darkness. It's a heavy storyline, so probably not best for a whole-class read. But it's a great history lesson and a touching story. ( )
  ghelmus | Jun 17, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802852955, Hardcover)

After her mother is killed by an explosion that also destroys her Vietnam village, four-year-old Kim is alone and afraid. Eventually, she is rescued by soldiers who bring her to an orphanage.

Surrounded by the love of the couple who run the orphanage, the companionship of the children who live there, and her mother's promise, ?I will always be with you, ? Kim finds the strength and courage to survive.

This picture book for older readers, based on a true story from the Vietnam War, portrays the hope that exists in even the most desperate situations. Poignant illustrations capture the perseverance of the human spirit and the power of kindness.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:49 -0400)

Orphaned at the age of four when her village in Viet Nam is bombed, Kim is rescued by soldiers and raised in an orphanage, always finding comfort in her mothers last words--"Don't be afraid. I will always be with you."

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