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Garland, Sherry.
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, 1993.
IL K-3 RL 2.8
ISBN 0152494650

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

For many centuries, emperors ruled the country of Vietnam.  In the late 1800s, France conquered Vietnam and the emperors lost their power.  In 1945, the last emperor gave up his throne in the hope that Vietnam would be able to gain back its independence.  This was not to be.  This book tells the tale of a woman who grew up in Vietnam and finally was forced to flee the fighting and began a new life in the United States.  During it all, the one thing that kept her spirits up was a single lotus seed.  Why would this be so important?

Booktalk #2

For Ba the lotus seed is symbolic of the life changing events she has endured. She acquired the lotus seed at the time when the emperor of Vietnam lost his throne; as a young girl she witnessed him weep. Ba has carried this seed through her lifeâ€ôs journeys. She had the seed the day she wed, and when she had children. When Ba was forced to flee her home during a time of war her beloved seed joined her plight to America.
Now Ba is an old woman and her beloved seed has been misplaced by a curious grandson. Her heart is broken. Her grandchildren try to help Ba locate the seed unsuccessfully. As the seasons pass Ba stumbles across her beloved lotus seed in the a most unexpected place.

This story is historical fiction. It takes place during a time in which Vietnam experienced changes in govenorship, from that of Emperorship to French Rule. During that time the French governed Vietnam; a war ensued in efforts to gain freedom from the French. Unfortunately this was not the only turmoil in the countryâ€ôs history. After gaining freedom from France a civil war erupted between Northern and Southern Vietnam. During these many outbreaks of war many people fled Vietnam in seek of refuge. America became the home for many of these refugees including the character Ba.  (Tamara Hernandez,, college student)

SUBJECTS:     Vietnam -- Fiction.
                        Lotus -- Fiction


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