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Elise, Sir Harry Smith Community College

The Bone Sparrow

Oh my goodness. 'The Bone Sparrow' - where to start?
So far all the Carnegie books (well the ones that I've read, Sputnik is probably an exception) have been from the point of view of teens, or young adults; giving the people of similar ages reading them some relatability. It is good, but these characters are all very advanced in their teenage thinking, and you can't help but compare yourself to them, and find your intellect falling short!
So when I started reading Bone Sparrow - a refugee story from the PoV of a 10 year old - I couldn't help feeling cheated at first. These were meant to be deep, meaningful books, not a little boy's diary! However, about 5 chapters in, you start to realise it's a lot more than that. Subhi displays raw emotion, hope and belief that you don't get in those with more years to their names. It didn't shield any information about the refugee camp, as the child wouldn't have felt the need to. He said what he thought without thinking someone would read it. Yes, I do know he is just a character, and didn't actually write the book, but he's entirely plausible one, and could have easily written this.
Some people feel the opposite. That a 10 year old character couldn't properly be written about in the first person in such a shocking story. But you don't have to have depression to be shocking: Subhi is such an optimistic, bouncy person that he shines a much needed light on the situation.
Overall, I loved this book. Its quirky duck conversations, Jimmie's midnight escapades and Harley's unique compassion. I may be biased as it's the last book of the Carnegie shortlist I will be reading, so the freshest in my memory, but I will be voting for 'The Bone Sparrow' as my winner.

Posted on: 18th June 2017 at 06:59 am

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