Viet Nam News
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY — Young readers will have more opportunities to learn about Vietnamese history after the release this week of new books by poet and reporter Lê Minh Quốc.
The comic collection, titled Hiền Tài Nước Việt (Vietnamese Great Men), includes 10 books on Vietnamese history in different periods.
The works feature Vietnamese kings, generals, national heroes and scholars such as General Trương Hán Siêu, revolutionary Cao Bá Quát, and scholars Mạc Đĩnh Chi and Lê Quý Đôn.
The pictures were created by Phạm Ngọc Tuấn.
Hiền Tài Nước Việt is part of a long-term programme launched this year by publishing houses Đông A and Dân Trí on history books for children and teenagers.
The programme invited authors, cultural researchers and historians to compile stories from different sources to offer useful and entertaining books.
Unlike previous years, publishers have decided to add history books to their lists for the summer season instead of works on love, supermen and adventures.
"We see many young people becoming excited about history by reading about and appreciating their own traditional culture,” said Quốc, who has more than 30 years experience as a writer.
Quốc said there was a shortage of new books and comics on Việt Nam’s history each summer. “I wanted to play a role in changing this situation,” he said.
According to lecturer and educator Trần Hữu Tá, who has written history books appreciated by younger readers, it is difficult for publishers and authors to offer such books because they must strike a balance between social responsibility and profit.
"Children prefer comics and cartoons about fighting, while teenagers enjoy romantic stories. History is not their favourite."
Tá said that social organisations and publishing houses should work with authors and editors to publish more books featuring historical events, national heroes and heroic martyrs.
Trẻ (Youth) Publishing House, one of the city’s biggest publishers, has attracted a staff of several well-known authors and historians creating books for young people. The authors include Trần Đăng Khoa, Quách Thọ, Nguyễn Nghiệp and Nguyễn Thụy Kha.
The publisher’s two best-selling history books, Lịch Sử Việt Nam (The History of Việt Nam) and Lịch Sử Nước Ta (Our Country’s History), have been reprinted and sold in many bookstores around the city, receiving a warm response from young readers.
While Trẻ prefers to publish books featuring the country’s ancient history, its competitor, the Kim Đồng Publishing House, tends to print modern history books by well-known authors like Tô Hoài and Nguyễn Huy Tưởng.
Books about the life and military career of generals Võ Nguyên Giáp and Nguyễn Chí Thanh, published by the Army Publishing House, have attracted many adult readers.
New comics in the collection Hiền Tài Nước Việt are available in bookstores and online websites. — VNS