The Land I Lost
By Huynh Quang Nhuong
Review by Allison Martin
The Land I Lost is a wonderful children's book about a young boy's adventures growing up in the central highlands of rural Vietnam before the war. In this autobiography, Huynh Quang Nhuong remembers his boyhood village life - the fears, dangers and quiet moments as a child. The tales of the villagers are evocative and memorable but even more remarkable are the adventures with the various animals that roam the village, river and nearby jungle. His chief charge, the water buffalo Tank, plays a central role in the book and will make a lasting impression on all readers - old and young.
Young children will find some of the tales frightening or sad, but older children and adults will enjoy this book immensely.
"The fish fought back like a devil, and one of its powerful jerks almost dragged both of us into the river. I yelled to Tank to come and help us.
"Tank came quickly. we tied the fishline to his horns and signaled him to walk backward. Tank lowered his head and pulled with all his strength. Luckily, the line held, and Tank dragged the fish closer and closer to shore. Suddenly we saw a huge white catfish jump into the air and then fall back into the water with a tremendous splash. Tank kept pulling and the old man kept yelling, "That's right, son. That's right, son." Moments later we saw the head of the fish come out of the water, then the body, and finally the tail."
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