The Buddha's Diamonds
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The Buddha's Diamonds

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  30 reviews
After a storm engulfs his village, a Vietnamese boy has glimmers of a new calling in this spare middle-grade novel written with authenticity and grace.

Every day, Tinhheads out to sea with his father to catch fish for their family and themarket. While he may miss his simple life, flying kites with other children on the beach, Tinh is proud to work alongside Ba. Then a fierc...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Candlewick Press (first published February 12th 2008)
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J.
This book is a simple, elegant read. Sparse yet interesting descriptions fill in the details as Tinh seeks to right the wrong that he has committed and to bring honor to his family. A lesson learned in his temple flows through his mind - the idea of even ordinary life being filled with blessings - diamonds - that can be treasured despite hardship. He carries that concept with him and takes courage because of it.

Though the writing is beautiful, it is also simple enough so that younger readers can...more
Marcia
I've enjoyed several books by the author, for their glimpse into other cultures. This one didn't quite make it. A young Cambodian boy learns about responsibility after the family's boat is damaged in a storm. The story just didn't get off the ground--we don't empathize with the characters and the foreign culture and introduction of Buddhism just don't grab hold. I can't imagine any child understanding or liking this story.
Tasha
I had really high hopes for this book, but the message and symbolism was too heavy-handed for my liking. It was an intriguing look at another culture, but that wasn't enough to carry the book into greatness.
Fred Kohn
I'm a sucker for everything on this book's exterior: it's small physical dimensions, beautiful cover (green is my favorite color), exotic, intriguing title. Of course, they say you can't judge a book by its cover, and that was true in this case. On occasion the descriptive writing about nature, especially the storm, was nice; but overall the story wasn't very interesting. I never really felt connected to the main character or any other character for that matter. Two and a half stars, with an ext...more
Hp Tan
Mar 05, 2011 Hp Tan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children
Shelves: juvenile
I feel evil rating it 2 stars, but I really didn't feel anything for it. Of course, it was intended to be in the children's section so perhaps I had no business picking that small, thin book up, but I was interested (and I don't believe in reading by age). The simple writing was nice for a while until it got a little bland. The plot of a boy choosing a toy red car (remote-controlled!!) over the boat that secured the family's living, then regretting and making amends was sweet but it just doesn't...more
Sevan  Sarkhoshian
I chose the book "The Buddha's Diamond" because it seemed like a book that I have never read. The book indeed was not a book that I usually read. This book talked the life style of a villager during the ancient time. The books moral is about a boy who is becoming at a age where he has to take responsibilities, and the obstacle he has to go through in order to get his father’s trust. The main character Tinh always goes with his father to the sea to catch fish for food and money. On one day an ext...more
Dustin Keller
I quite liked this little book. It was a breath of fresh air from the tumultuous drama f the heroes and heroines of contemporary kid lit that I have been reading. The inner voice, the reflective voice... Do I dare say... the 'mindful voice', of the the main character like a Buddhist kohen asking us to think beyond the story into our own lives.
This book will stay with me, in my mind, in times of trouble, to remind me that I can find the Buddha's diamonds all around me if I have the presents of m...more
Karen
Marsden writes a story based on the childhood experiences of Vietnames immigrant Thay Phap Niem (co-author). They present a sweet little tale about a boy named Tinh who is caught between childhood interests and pleasures and the adult responsibilities of helping his father fish as a source of income. One day a storm comes of greater strength than he's ever seen, and he repeatedly is faced with choices: do I respond as a child or do I respond as a man? Less than 100 pages in a book that's sized l...more
Mandi Ellsworth
The children and I read this one together. It's about a little fishing town in Vietnam and a boy trying to behave like a man. It's a fascinating look at another culture and set of beliefs. The kids said it was kind of scary because of the big storm that sweeps through and decimates the village, but we persevered anyway because I wanted to see how it ended. I also thought it was important because it shows how other people live. I love the idea of all the things we take for granted in our lives li...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I realize what the author was trying to do with this story, but it didn't quite do it for me. The "Buddha's diamonds" are all the positive, good things in your life. Young Tinh has to learn to count his blessings, or "diamonds", when a bad storm tears through his village in Vietnam and destroys much of the family's food supply and their boat by which they make a living. I did enjoy the description of life in a Vietnamese fishing village, which was fascinating. But I'm not sure that young readers...more
Corinne
Interesting tale based on a true story. A young boy's encounter with Buddha during a cyclone in his village which teaches him that he can be happy no matter what the circumstances are. Gives a good portrayal of the life of a fishing village in Vietnam. I read it because of the 'conversion' experience of the boy. But I am confused about Buddhism as the villagers pray to Buddha and Bodhavista to save them from the storm. Yet in the back of the book the author says that Buddha is not a god but a pe...more
Melea
What a lovely story of a boy coming to grips with his new adult responsibilities. Like many of us, he fails, but he persists in trying to prove himself to his family and to himself. His faith is an integral part of who he is. I really like that. I also was very pleased to know that the story is based upon one of the co-author's experiences.
Elizabeth
Aug 06, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: upper elementary/ middle school
A short, sweet, moving coming of age story about a 10 year old Vietnamese boy. A great introduction to the culture and spirituality of this rich culture, as well as an age appropriate peek at the horrors of war. Recommend for both girls and boys.
Alex
Tinh and his family depend on the small boat he and his father take out to sea every day to catch fish. And when a massive storm comes and wreaks the boat, the family's livelihood is threatened. Coming of age story for a young Vietnamese boy.
Kerith
This is a beautiful, though very short, little story taking place some time after the Vietnam War. The dharma talk about Buddha's diamonds in the beginning is infused throughout the tale, and I found it very moving.
Mrs. Hoisington
The center of the story is an extended metaphor about Buddha's Diamonds and what parts of life are of true value. The author shares a simple allegory about life in Vietnam--quick and easy to read. :)
Karin
vietnamese boy begins to mature in aftermath of big storm. quite a bit of information (vietnamese fishing communities, poverty, land mines) and buddhist philosophy packed into very short book.
Nora
A little disjointed and unmemorable, but it was great because it explained Buddhism from a kid's perspective. A fast read for middle schoolers, perfect with a unit on Vietnam or Buddhism.
Jenny
A gentle tale reminding us to find the blessings and beauty around us despite difficulties and even disasters. We enjoyed the quiet, simple journey of Tinh.
Jean
For children around 9-11.
Taking on the subject of Buddha, what a perfect book to introduce another religion. Names were tough, but nice story.
Heather
Quick easy read of a young boy coming of age and learning what is importaint in life .... precious diamonds so to speak.
Maggie
In Thailand, a young boy learns responsibility when a tsunami hits and his family loses their fishing boat.
Anna
I learned a little bit more about the Vietnamese culture. Enjoyable for a 6-9 grade student
Pat Knight
Set in Vietnam, this story is a thoughtful journey into adulthood for a young boy.
Nessie


A beautiful simple tale. A meditation in story form.
Redhsw1
A sweet book that reminds us what is important in life.
Kim
Really enjoyed reading this to my girls.
Deb Andries
Reading this for Literature Circle Material.
Ashley
A beautiful coming of age story.
Melissa
A bit simplistic, but nice.
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194632
Carolyn Marsden was born in Mexico City to missionary parents. She has been a writer all her life, but THE GOLD-THREADED DRESS is her first book. About THE GOLD-THREADED DRESS she says, "I wrote this story when my half-Thai daughter was being teased at school. As a parent and elementary school teacher, I watched her struggle to establish a cultural identity. I became fascinated with a conflict tha...more
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