OUR JOURNEY FROM TIBET by Laurie Dolphin

OUR JOURNEY FROM TIBET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sonam is the young girl who narrates the story of her escape from Tibet, along with two sisters, over the Himalayan Mountains to a better life in India. Basing her story on interviews--and well-documented by Johnson's striking full-color photographs--Dolphin (Georgia to Georgia, 1991, etc.) follows the girls on this journey: They are first concealed in trucks amidst bags of salt, then travel on foot (wearing only canvas shoes) across the snow-covered mountains, and finally go by bus to Dharamsala, India, where the Dalai Lama has established a government-in-exile. Although the children's story is inherently dramatic and moving, the first-person narration is distracting: It never sounds like a child's voice, but an adult's, and the inclusion of historical information compounds the problem. Readers won't know whether Sonata is retracing her journey in the photographs, if Johnson is staging a reenactment, or if author and photographer were along for the original journey--which would be rather heartless, given the hardships involved for the children. Nevertheless, it's an informative and attractive volume, and certain to make children aware of the tragedy of Tibetan culture, and the efforts undertaken to preserve it. With a letter from the Dalai Lama, and an afterword.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Dutton