Children of Vietnam

By Betty Jean Lifton and Thomas C. Fox

Original Publisher: Atheneum (Simon & Schuster)
Current Publisher: Out of Print
Digital Publisher: Not Available

Reading Level: Not Available

Children’s Books Finalists That Year:

  • Betsy Byars for The House of Wings
  • Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire for Trolls
  • Jean Craighead George for Julie of the Wolves
  • Betty Jean Lifton and Thomas C. Fox for Children of Vietnam
  • Georgess McHargue for The Impossible People
  • Zilpha Keatley Snyder for The Witches of Worm
  • William Steig for Dominic

Children’s Books Winner That Year: Ursula K. Le Guin for The Farthest Shore

Judges That Year: Augusta Baker, Ian McDermott, Barbara Wersba

The Year in Literature: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George won the Newbery Medal.

More Information:

  • Thomas C. Fox was a reporter in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and worked with war-displaced refugees before going on to be the editor of the National Catholic Reporter. Here is an article about the work he did that inspired Children of Vietnam: http://www.twhalloran.info/page67.html.
  • Betty Jean Lifton wrote primarily about adoption reform after her work on Children of Vietnam. An adoptee herself, she was a strong proponent of open adoptions in which adoptees are able to contact their birth parents at any point after their adoption and vice versa. In her memoir, Twice Born, she wrote: “When I was born, society prophesied that I would bring disgrace to my mother, kill her reputation, destroy her chances for a good bourgeois life.” She added: “I say that society, by sealing birth records, by cutting adoptees off from their biological past, by keeping secrets from them, has made them into a separate breed, unreal even to themselves.”

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