Friday, September 26, 2008

The Buddha's Diamonds by Carolyn Marsden & Thay Phap Niem

Tinh, a young Vietnamese boy, knows that he is finally old enough to help his father support the family. He is honored and proud when his father invites him to go fishing every day in their new golden bamboo boat. It is hard work but Tinh seldom thinks of the playmates he's left behind. He wants to become as good a fisherman as his father. One day, when a storm approaches, Tinh is given the task of securing the family boat. Tinh is not very big -- he struggles with all his might to pull their boat to safety. Then, with a roar, a powerful tsunami-like wave rolls toward the beach. Tinh panics and runs for his life. When the floodwaters recede, the destruction and devestation left behind are enormous. The family boat is buried under tons of sand and Tinh struggles with the guilt of having let his family down. Will his father ever trust him again? This is the story of young Tinh growing up in Vietnam after the war, taking responsibility for his action and trying hard to prove to himself and his family that he is a man. The Buddha's "diamonds" are not the ordinary, earthly crystals and gemstones we know by that name. You can discover a new kind of "diamonds" by reading this special book. Review by Trudy Walsh

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