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.
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 Lhamo 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.
|Publisher:||Roaring Brook Press|
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
ELIZABETH CODY KIMMEL has written numerous books for young readers. An admirer of the Dalai Lama, a portion of the proceeds from Boy on the Lion Throne will be donated to Tibet Aid. She lives in Cold Spring, NY.
Read an Excerpt
Three-year-old Lhamo Thondup“Sera Lama”ON A QUIET WINTER MORNING in 1937, several strangers on horseback rode into the Tibetan village of Taktser. The men made their way through the small cluster of houses and prayer shrines on the lofty hillside, searching for the one that had been described to them. They were disguised as a group of simple travelers, their true mission a tightly held secret. Through the falling snow, their attention was drawn to a farmhouse nearby. Something in the shape of the gutters around the flat roof told them this was the house they must enter. If this was in fact the place they had been seeking, the common brick-and-mud structure contained a treasure of immeasurable value. The party of men approached the home. In their hands lay the future of Tibet.Lhamo Thondup was not yet three years old when his mother welcomed the strangers into her home. The boy was immediately enchanted by the visitors, and he was especially drawn to a man dressed in a brown belted cloak and fur hat. Lhamo Thondup did not know that the servant who so captivated him was in fact the leader of the party, a high-ranking lama who had traded his scarlet monk’s robes for a servant’s costume.The boy’s mother, Diki Tsering, was a beautiful and gentle woman, with smiling lips and glossy black hair worn in long braids down her back. She was known for her generosity and never turned away strangers no matter what their circumstances. She offered the men a place to sleep for the night and took Lhamo into the kitchen to fetch them tea and bread. They were as welcome at her table as anyone, though she was already beginning to suspect that they were no ordinary travelers.While the tea and bread was being served in the main room, the man dressed as a servant went into the kitchen. There he found Lhamo Thondup. When the servant sat down, Lhamo climbed into his lap and discovered that beneath the man’s cloak he wore mala beads, the traditional Tibetan rosary. The boy was fascinated by the prayer beads and wanted the servant to give them to him. Amused, the servant agreed, with one condition. Lhamo Thondup must identify him, though the man and boy had not met before.mala beadsLhamo did not hesitate. In spite of the man’s clothing, the boy called him “Sera Lama,” meaning a monk of the Sera Monastery. Lama Kewtsang Rinpoche was deeply impressed. Not only had the boy correctly identified the man and his monastery, but Lhamo had also shown an interest in the prayer beads. Only Kewtsang Rinpoche knew that those beads had belonged to the 13th Dalai Lama. To him, it made perfect sense that this little boy demanded he hand them over. Though there were other tests to be given, it seemed quite possible that the child on Kewtsang Rinpoche’s lap was the one the search party had been seeking.Two-year-old Lhamo could not have understood that the arrival of the party of strangers signaled the coming of great change. Life as the boy and his family knew it was about to change forever, and for Lhamo there would be no going back.
The borders of Tibet in 1937Text copyright © 2008 by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Table of Contents
The Roof of the World,
Life by the House Mountain,
A King's Ransom,
"A Happy Sun Now Shines on Tibet!",
On the Lion Throne,
Palace of One Thousand Rooms,
"The Red Onslaught at our Door",
"Religion is Poison",
"Go! Go! Tonight!",
About Tibet Aid,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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 two-and-a-half-year-old Lhamo Thondup as the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. From his simple life in a mountain village to the thousand-room Potala Palace and his perilous escape into exile, this dramatic narrative follows the remakable childhood of the Dalai Lama.
An excellent book for upper elementary children. This book can spark interest in international events as well as world history. After reading the book students can take a position on the political and human aspects of the Dalai Lama's story and write about their personal feelings concerning him and answer the question: What would you do if you were the Dalai Lama?
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