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The Boy from Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life in America [Hardcover]

Alan Philps , John Lahutsky
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 15.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Feb 2011
In 1990, a young boy afflicted with cerebral palsy was born, prematurely, in Russia. His name was Vanya. His mother abandoned him to the state childcare system and he was sent to a bleak orphanage called Baby House 10. Once there, he entered a nightmare world he was not to leave for more than eight years. Housed in a ward with a group of other children, he was clothed in rags, ignored by most of the staff and given little, if any, medical treatment. He was finally, and cruelly, confined for a time to a mental asylum where he lived, almost caged, lying in a pool of his own waste on a locked ward surrounded by psychotic adults. But, that didn't stop Vanya.

Even in these harsh conditions, he grew into a smart and persistent young boy who reached out to everyone around him. Two of those he reached out to--Sarah Philps, the wife of a British journalist, and Vika, a young Russian woman--realized that Vanya was no ordinary child and they began a campaign to find him a home. After many twists and turns, Vanya came to the attention of a single woman living in the United States named Paula Lahutsky. After a lot of red tape and more than one miracle, Paula adopted Vanya and brought him to the U.S. where he is now known as John Lahutsky, an honors student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and a member of the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow. In "The Boy From Baby House 10," Sarah's hus band, Alan Philps, helps John Lahutsky bring this inspiring true-life story of a small boy with a big heart and an unquenchable will to readers everywhere.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press (25 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312576978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312576974
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.3 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,262,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"harrowing biography... Philps tells Vanya's often shocking tale with sensitivity but while this story is ultimately a happy one, Philps reveals that there remain about 800,000 children in Russie still trapped in homes such as Baby House 10." (SUNDAY TIMES 24.01.10 )

"deeply moving, frequently enraging and ultimately uplifting account of how a seriously disabled child blessed with an unquenchable spirit triumphs over adversity with the aid of good-hearted people... compelling, often haunting book..." (DAILY MAIL -22.01.10 )

"miracle story... The book ends with a sober codicil; there are still five thousand children in Russia condemned to bed regimes." (IRISH TIMES - 12.01.10 ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Gripping expose revealing one of the last secrets of the Soviet empire: its abuse of children in state institutions. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
While Russia struggled to free itself from constraints of the failed Soviet system, a small boy -- and many others like him -- remained confined in a heartless labyrinth of orphanages and mental asylums run as they were in Stalin's time. With amazing courage and persistence, a small group of Russian campaigners and, notably, a handful of British and American women living in Moscow, dedicated themselves to shining light into these dark places and to rescuing some of the long-suffering children they found within. Sarah, wife of Alan Philps, a British newspaper correspondent living in Moscow, refused to be defeated by corruption, incompetence and official apathy. In The Boy from Baby House 10, Alan Philps recounts her struggle to save a small boy called Vanya from a hellish bureaucracy which wrongly condemned him as an imbecile and tried to keep him locked up for life. It took years of dedicated effort, frustration and disappointment to find, at last, a new life for Vanya with an adoptive mother in the United States. Vanya, now aged 20, lives in America and is known as John. He helped write this complex tale of heroic help overcoming hopelessness. His name appears with Alan Philps's on the cover. The result is inspirational, revealing and an uplifting read. The narrative is skilfully put together, with meticulous research underlining the emotional impact at every stage. All this book lacks is illustrations. They are readily available on [...] and should not be omitted in the second printing which this book so richly deserves.
-- Nigel Wade
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real experience 27 May 2011
By HelenJ
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was a real experience, although not a comfortable read. I was horrified to read about the lives of the children in this book, but found the story ultimately uplifting, as I realised how many people had gone out of their way to change the lives of one child for the better, and how he had survived and triumphed, despite all the odds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving read 30 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A disturbing but inspiring account of this young man`s early life in the Russian `care` system. He survives extremes of neglect and abusive mis-management, firstly through his inner resource of simply making himself heard and secondly because the right people were there at the right time to hear him and begin the arduous and prolonged fight for his rescue. Many others were not so lucky. A very moving read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. It tells the history of one boy who almost miraculously escaped from a Russian orphanage, but it also sheds light onto the orphanage system itself, notably the appallingly limited aspirations of the people who work in it, and the appallingly defeatist aims of the system, namely to confine the children with minimal care and attention (or quite often not even that) until, if they have not died, they can be transferred to an asylum for older children and adults, working on the same principles. The book makes one wonder whether even by the old communist standards it might not have been more efficient (let alone kinder) for mentally or physically handicapped children to be cared for in the community. But, according to Alan Philps, this would have run counter to Soviet ideology. The book makes one sad, angry and thoughtful by turns. It is tour de force by the joint authors, Alan Philps and the boy who escaped, now called John Lahutsky.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 15 Jun 2014
By Meow
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a very true story which will sadden you at times (I cried a lot whilst reading this book) but through it all there is hope. I think whats sad is that orphanages still exist (whilst they are in a better state thanks to books like this and substantial media coverage) thousands of children are written off every year and will never be given the opportunity to excel or to prove their worth. I volunteer at an orphanage in Eastern Europe and I can say that staff attitudes are still very much as they are in the book. Disabled children are not offered an education and very little is ever done to help or improve their disability. It is only through books like this that the outside world can understand the reality that is orphanages.
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This was a very good read. It tells the young life of a boy in the Russian child care system, and the people who fought to save him from a fate worse than death-the first time I think this phrase seems appropriate- It was at times sad, at times bewildering,at time frustrating, and at times just plain unbelievable.This is a book that everyone should read as it shows how political ideology can dictate what happens to the most vulnerable section in society.children who have no voice about their treatment. Iwas amazed at how bright and alert Vanya was about what was happening to him.
A very good and enjoyable read.
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