Parents' Guide to

When Heaven Fell

By Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Snapshot of Vietnamese culture past and present.

When Heaven Fell Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Engaging story

This story pulls you in right away. It is great as an American to get a peak into a culture so different. The flashbacks to war were very sad and could upset sensitive readers, especially a line about a young boy dead. Keep in mind it is a book from a Vietnamese perspective so there is some anti American sentiment. There was also some prejudice against a half American that included a derogatory name. (There is prejudice in all countries and this didn’t just skate over it)

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Even for sensitive readers, this book is a wonderful opportunity to expose young kids to a very different world and period of history, and it's a real eye-opener for American kids. Not many families bring up the Vietnam War for dinner table conversation; it's hard to discuss for some adults, much less children. But Carolyn Marsden has made it easier by authoring WHEN HEAVEN FELL. Marsden has mastered how to describe a complicated period of history as though it's being interpreted by 9-year-old Binh. There are descriptions of children being killed by bombs and mothers hiding in the jungle to escape execution. These pieces are illustrated without blood, gore, or descriptive violence, but the fear is there.

Book Details

  • Author: Carolyn Marsden
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: March 1, 2007
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 192
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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