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Overnight, Tinh's Vietnamese village is destroyed by a cyclone.

nominee for the West Virginia Children’s Choice Book Award 2010-2011

Southern California Independent Booksellers Association 2008 Finalist

Booklist Top Ten Religion Books of 2008

A Junior Library Guild Selection

“Cultural references are beautifully integrated into this lovely coming-of-age story.” School Library Journal

“Tinh experiences the range of feelings of a boy no longer a child—shame, loss, joy, obedience, fear and the weight of fulfilling the role of a proper son to his ancestors and extended family.” Kirkus

“This novel is most rewarding for its graceful unfolding of differences…and the chance it affords to spend time in a community guided by Buddhist values.” Publishers Weekly

“The authors’ detailed description of daily life give a strong sense of Tinh’s culture and what poverty means in the developing world, while Tinh’s poignant struggles to please his parents and use good judgment will feel familiar to many readers…unique title.”

One day I was at Deer Park which is a Buddhist monastery near my house. One of the monks was giving a talk to the children. He told them about a storm that had destroyed his village and about how the people had had to recover afterwards. I loved the story from the moment I heard it. It also seemed an important story to tell because Hurricane Katrina had just destroyed New Orleans. I asked the monk, whose name is Thay Phap Niem, if we could write his story together and he said yes. Mostly, I did the writing while he swung in the hammock!