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The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam
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The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  978 ratings  ·  84 reviews
An ALA Notable Children’s Book and a Booklist Editors’ Choice, about one young man’s memories of the land he called home.

The land I love was lost to me forever.

Huynh Quang Nhuong grew up in the highlands of Vietnam, next to the jungle teeming with wildlife. Encounters with tigers, wild hogs, and deadly snakes were as much a part of his life as tending the rice fields while
Paperback, 144 pages
Published November 4th 1986 by HarperCollins (first published 1982)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  978 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Nevaeh Millar
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Read it for school, and I was always excited for what was going to happen next.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: home-school
This middle schoolers book is a true account of a boy's childhood in Vietnam. His very poor family lives in a hamlet with other families and each day is one of pure survival. The sweet story of a pet water buffalo named Tank, stories of monkeys, snakes, fish, and otters, I learned some exquisitely interesting things I had never even heard of.

Beware as there are two stories in particular that might not be suitable for sensitive children. A monkey steals a hatchet and butchers a sleeping two-year
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. After reading it, I remember thinking that Vietnam as Huynh Quang Nhoung had known it was not just the land he lost. It is a land and time that we all lost, a land of families living in community together, working together. A time of extended families and shared stories. It tells of a lifestyle touched by real life - snakes, buffalo, hogs, monkeys, people, rice plants, the jungle, and more. I can't imagine giving up my air-conditioned technological world, yet we are m ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am glad I do not live in Vietnam. It is very interesting. I would describe it as a memoir of an upper middle class farming family. For the most part it is a tale about the adventures of the family's animals.
Apr 19, 2009 rated it liked it
The Land i Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam( Harper Trophy Book) 4/19/09

By Quang Nhuong Huynh

Have you ever visited Vietnam and experienced the life that the farmers did? Huynh Quang Nhoung had faced it all and he wrote this story with his own point of view. Huynh Quang Nhoung had faced many great adventures with his water buffalo, Tank and they had create a strong bond within each others.
Huynh Quang Nhoung was a boy who would do a lot of farm work and he interact with the nature most of th
A fascinating and enjoyable biography about pre-war Vietnam. I enjoyed reading about how the village interacted with each other and with the animals of the jungle. The story about the newly wed couple and the crocodile was very memorable.

Be prepared to talk to children about cultural differences and animal cruelty. It is a great conversation starter, but you might want to preview it before handing it over to your child if you have issue with such things. :)

To clarify, it wasn't attaching knive
Mark Howard
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Middle School students
This is a beautiful set of stories from a long-past era in Vietnamese history, the early 1950s. It's about a boy growing up in a rural village and his wild adventures with animals and humans. In 2017 we can in no way experience what the boy does but it's enlightening and adventurous to see how people lived and what happened to them at that time and in that area. The book can be read in any order, each chapter stands on its own and is a pleasure from start to finish.
Bree Bosse
I thought this book was going to be more interesting than it ended up being. It was a good book without a doubt, however I was not a fan of vignette layout of the book because it was several mini stories. This gave a nice preview and visual of the author's culture in Vietnam, however it did not leave me wanting more everytime I sat down the book. It was a good example of a memoir and really showed the Vietnam Culture from when the author was a young boy.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
A good book, very informative. We learned a lot about life in pre-war Vietnam. However, I don’t believe this book is appropriate for very young children or very sensitive children. There are a few stories that are very brutally honest about jungle village life.
Amanda Harrison
Winner of a number of awards including the William Allen White, the Library of Congress Children’s book award, and the ALA Notable Children’s Book Award, The Land I Lost offers a portrait of Vietnam before the Vietnam War. While clearly an award winner from the 1980’s the book has less appeal with both a dated appearance and stories that hearken back to a more violent kid’s culture.
Nhuong’s stories about Vietnam are told in 15 short chapters that tie together briefly, but don’t come together i
Katherine VanderSluis
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-fic
This is a collection of jungle adventures from the childhood of a man who grew up in Vietnam. Dangers were so great that each hut was surrounded by a trench, with bamboo poles to cross it, which were pulled in at night. Having grown up in the Mojave Desert myself, with many dangerous creatures in the landscape, I could identify a bit, though dangers of the jungle seem far greater. It is a quick read composed of several short (or very short) stories. It's classified as a children's book, but I he ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: core-f
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-my-sons
This book is about a boy and the life he had in Vietnam before the war hit his village. Every chapter has a story about people and the relationship they have with animals around them. The stories talk about water buffaloes, snakes, monkeys, otters, wild hogs, dogs, and birds. Some of them are pretty sad and include some violence, so I suggest this book for kids who are older than eight. Other stories in this were really funny and my sons really loved learning the stories.

content warning: There i
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fifth grade writer's workshop teachers
In this memoir, Huynh Quang Nhuong tells more of a variety of stories from his time growing up in pre-war, rural Vietnam than in his other memoir Water Buffalo Days. Some of these tales are horrifying and some are haunting. I really enjoyed the ones that gave us a glimpse of the local legends and superstitions.
Sean Harding
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story of growing up in Vietnam in a land that is totally changed and of course a time that is no longer there. In some respects we could all write about a land or a time that has been lost and that we can't return to, but Vietnam and other war torn lands have an abundance of loss sadly, and this is a both reflective and wonderful story.
Sarah Sterns
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I gave it three stars because of the fact that it's been so long since I read it and can't remember exactly what I thought. I know I liked it but I can't recall to what extent. I do remember that it was enlightening and it definitely taught me a lot about the people and their way of life.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The adventures of a young boy growing up in Vietnam. A look at the culture and lives of the people of a small hamlet.
My 2 boys liked it alright. I found that I got bored with it by the end. Each chapter told a story about life in the author's village in Vietnam. Each story began to sound the same.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Pre- reading for home school. Skipping some chapters because they are very heavy or slightly mature for 4th grader.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The land i lost was so sad but it was so inertaning. This was my favorite book I had so much fun reading it I wish they made a sequal.
Kristine Hansen
I was never more glad to have a book over and done with. We read this one as part of my daughter's school curriculum, but the stories seemed to have little point other than to underscore again and again that life is brutal, people and animals die all the time, and that what is funny to one person is decidedly not to another.

Just not exactly my cup of tea and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

If I had read this book with my son I'm not sure my reaction would have been much different. I thought the fi
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-story
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This belongs to the plethora of books I gobbled up as a homeschooler. I can count on my fingers the books that I've read more than once, and this is one of them. The book carries with it a sense of amusement in the face of an extremely dangerous jungle; it seemed as though not a chapter could go by (and it's a very short book) in which therein was not a life claimed by the dire wilderness. Snakes, Boars, Crocodiles, etc. plagued the hamlet in which the drama is set.

Our very likeable hero and hi
Steven Clark
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I knew Nhuong when I lived in Columbia Mo, and enjoyed his delightful book about growing up in Vietnam and the way he made so much come to life, showing a picture of Vietnam we don't normally see. He was especially fond of 'Tank', the buffalo, and when he described all of these stories (and many more) in person, Nhuong was very engaging. He also wrote several children's plays about Vietnam and its legends.
He always liked to write in Lowry Plaza (the main campus square) in his wheelchair with a
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Somehow, I expected more from a book about the author's childhood in Vietnam. The individual story chapters are interesting, especially since they reveal some fascinating details about a distant (to me) culture. I just didn't find the depth or even breadth I was hoping for as Nhuong revisits his childhood. I kept waiting for him to more fully weave his reminiscences with incidents of the war and his subsequent losses.

Also, I was a bit surprised at some of the harshness and mildly "adult" situat
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: homeschool
UGH! If you don't mind killing of some human or some animal throughout the whole boo, even though culturally correct, go ahead and read this book. We read this book as a part of Eastern Hemisphere history. The setting is Vietnam during the war. If you can get past the gore of this book, it tells the story of of a young mans encounter with many animals in his hamlet. We see a little bit of the culture and their beliefs and superstitions.
The book is listed as ages 7 - 10. Maybe the reading LEVEL
Jun 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adventurous boys
The setting is in Vietnam. It is in first narrative and is spoken by a 13-year-old boy. I really like this book because it reminds me of the old times in the Philippines, when people work in the paddy fields although I never lived there. ~by 11-year-old Vibrant Bea.

An exciting and dangerous life for a 13-year-old boy in the paddy fields and jungle where tigers, wild boars, crocodiles and the most dangerous of them all, extremely poisonous snakes dwell.~by 10-year-old Breezy, the gentle zephyr
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book of 15 stories related memories of the author of his childhood growing up in the highlands of Vietnam. There were snake bites, deadly attacks by wild hogs, killer monkeys and bandits. There was also fun fishing and hunting with a cousin, a loving family and a pet water buffalo. There were some rough spots to be aware of, especially when reading aloud before bed (all the chapters involving monkeys were a little horrifying) but the kids loved it, and it certainly furthered my goal of help ...more
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Huynh earned his degree in chemistry from Saigon University in 1962. After the outbreak of the Vietnam War, Huynh was drafted into the South Vietnamese army, where he reached the rank of first lieutenant, and received a gold and a silver medal. Huynh was shot and paralyzed during the war, resulting in his trip to the United States in 1963 for physical therapy.

Huynh decided to stay in the United St