From humble beginnings to world leader, a new biography focuses on the childhood of the Dalai Lama, as his country remains at the center of the world stage.nbsp;On a quiet winter morning in 1937, several men on horseback rode into the tiny Tibetan village of Taktser. Disguised as peasants, the high lamas were on a secret mission--soon they would identify 3-year-old Llamo Thondup as the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. With a foreword by the Dalai Lama himself, this dramatic narrative follows his remarkable childhood, illuminating the story of Tibet and introducing a remarkable world figure to a new generation.
Gr 5-8-When Diki Tsering gave birth to her fifth child, Lhamo Thondup, in a remote mountain village in Tibet in 1935, she had no idea he would become one of the most famous religious leaders in the world. This informative and readable biography begins with his identification as the reincarnated Dalai Lama when he was two and a half, and his ascension to the Lion Throne. Life changed for this little boy when he went to live in Lhasa. World War II was in full swing, and while China was involved in that conflict, it was also intensifying its efforts to annex Tibet. Kimmel successfully weaves the everyday world of this Buddhist leader into the cultural, religious, and historical aspects of his time. The narrative is interesting and, at times, gripping, especially the description of his dramatic flight into exile in India. In addition, the author is able to convey the warm and astute personality of Kundun, as the young monk is called, as well as the remarkable loyalty the people of Tibet have for him. A foreword by the Dalai Lama and many black-and-white photographs add to the work's usefulness. Because of the text's wide spacing, the book appears to be for young readers, but the need for some historical context and the sophisticated vocabulary indicate a book more appropriate for someone slightly older. For children in the middle grades, this work illuminates a time, a place, and a life whose influence is far-reaching.-Barbara Scotto, Children's Literature New England, Brookline, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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March 02, 2009
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