Buddhism in Fiction


In honor of CLCD’s CEO’s philanthropic trip to Nepal to work with Buddhist monks, check out these works of fiction that feature Buddhism in some way or another.








9780525478218 Hiroshima Dreams
By: Kelly Easton

Lin O’Neil, a talented but shy girl growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, develops a close relationship with her Japanese grandmother, who shares Lin’s gift of precognition. Ages 12-18

9780861715503 Taneesha Never Disparaging
By: M. LaVora Perry

Teased and tormented because of her choice of friends, her Buddhist religion, and her lackluster campaign for class president, Taneesha’s fifth-grade school year proves to be disappointing until she learns to make peace with herself and those around her. Ages 8-12

9780385904940 Roots and Wings
By: Many Ly

While in St. Petersburg, Florida, to give her grandmother a Cambodian funeral, fourteen-year-old Grace, who was raised in Pennsylvania, finally gets some answers about the father she never met, her mother’s and grandmother’s youth, and her Asian-American heritage. Ages 12-18

189437939X The Rumor: a Jataka Tale from India
By: Jan Thornhill

A worrisome hare stirs other animals into a frenzy after falsely believing that the world is breaking apart, and it takes a lion to rein them all in. Ages 4-9

043983709X Zen and the Art of Faking It
By: Jordan Sonnenblick

When San Lee moves to a new town and school for the umpteenth time, he is looking for a way to stand out when his knowledge of Zen Buddhism provides the answer–and the need to quickly become a convincing Zen master. Ages 10-16

0689714335 The Cat Who Went to Heaven
By: Elizabeth Jane Coatsworth

A poor artist in Japan is asked to paint a picture of the death of Buddha. His cat wants to be in the picture, but according to legend, no cats were present when Buddha died. The story tells of the artist’s decision and what happens to the cat and the painting. Ages 8-12

015201392X Little Sister
By: Kara Dalkey

Thirteen-year-old Fujiwara no Mitsuko, daughter of a noble family in the imperial court of twelfth century Japan, enlists the help of a shape-shifter and other figures from Japanese mythology in her efforts to save her older sister’s life. Ages 12-18

0786260122 Buddha Boy
By: Kathe Koja

Justin spends time with Jinsen, the unusual and artistic new student whom the school bullies torment and call Buddha Boy, and ends up making choices that impact Jinsen, himself, and the entire school. Ages 12-18

9780440214892 Tulku
By: Peter Dickinson

A thirteen-year-old boy escapes from slaughter by the Boxers in China and joins forces with an English botanist and her escort, traveling with them to Tibet where the power of Buddhist monks transforms the lives of all of them.  Ages 12-16

0060594748 Kingdom of the Golden Dragon
By: Isabel Allende

Sixteen-year-old Alexander Cold accompanies his grandmother, a writer for a geography magazine, to the remote Forbidden Kingdom in the Himalayas to help locate a sacred statue of a golden dragon before it is stolen by a greedy outsider. Ages 12-17

0786856920 Schooled
By: Gordon Korman

Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie, but when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school. Ages 10-14

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