While searching for books on responsibility, I ran across this little gem: The Buddha’s Diamonds by Carolyn Marsden and Thay Niem. Though a work of fiction, the story is based in part on Niem’s childhood experiences in Vietnam. Even though Tinh is 10, he has begun to take on adult responsibilities and is proud to help his father support and feed the family. During a fierce storm Tinh’s father trusts him to secure the boat – key to the family’s livelihood. Unfortunately, Tinh panics and fails to keep the boat safe. Feeling guilty that while he was unable to save the boat he was able to save a coveted toy, Tinh hopes that he can salvage the boat and gain back his father’s trust. Young readers will learn about Buddhist concepts as they are gently introduced throughout the story. Vietnamese words may be a challenge for younger or less fluent readers. A glossary at the end helps with the meanings. This is a beautifully written story about responsibility and family relationships. It is an excellent story for introducing students to a different culture.
Mrs. Archer’s rating: 5 of 5