Daughter of the Mountains

Momo is a little girl who lives high in the mountains of Tibet.  One day, at a festival at the Buddhist monastery, she spots a beautiful Lhasa terrier the head monk owns.  That Lhasa terrier is the most beautiful dog she has ever seen and she wants one oh-so-badly.  She prays to the Blessed One, Buddha, for such a dog.  She asks her father frequently for such a dog.  But Lhasa terriers are very valuable and sacred, and not for poor Tibetan families.

One day, in a most unusual way (read the book!), her dream comes true and she gets a Lhasa terrier!  She nicknames him Pempa and loves on him and trains him.  They are inseparable, until one day, he is stolen from her home.

So Momo sets off on a long journey after Pempa.  She follows the Great Trade Route through the mountains, down to the turquoise valleys of India.  She meets many people along the way, sees many interesting sights.  She’s almost caught in one home to be used as a slave, but manages to escape.  She ends up in Calcutta, India, hundreds and hundreds of miles away from her home – all in search of her beloved dog Pempa.

My children loved this book – and so did I.  Mom is a courageous little girl, and when you think her journey has ended, she meets just the right people to help her on her way.

While we were reading it, a missionary to India came to our church to speak.  She brought several photo books with her – one from trekking in India’s mountains in the north.  Those pictures were the most fascinating to me, because they fit the picture that Rankin paints in Daughter of the Mountains of the bare mountain tops and lush valleys.

What a delightful way to introduce children to the culture, religion and region of Tibet, Nepal and northern India.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.

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