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Kirsty, Impington Village College

The Bone Sparrow

The Bone Sparrow is touching and unforgettable. It is way too easy to forget that even though we live lives of privilege, not everyone does. Not everyone is treated equally, and this books reminds just how ever-present inequality is.

The main character, Subhi, has not known life outside his immigration detention centre. He and his family are, to put it simply, being punished for seeking a better life. How is that fair? If you or I wanted to travel to another country to seek a better life, we wouldn't be but in any kind of prison, but, because Subhi and his mother and sister do not have the freedom we do, they are sent to live somewhere surrounded by wire fences and regarded as a place for 'wrongdoers' who chose to leave their country due to war.

The other main character in this book is Jimmie. She is not trapped in the detention centre, but trapped in a different way. Her mother is dead. To the outsiders like her, they consider those in the centre lucky. They are told that they have everything they want in there, with doctors on hand should they ever get hurt. But then she meets Subhi from the other side of the fence, and learns that the detention centre is nowhere the utopia it is made out to be.

Together they make a difference, and for this I wish that this story was true and these events really happened. The world needs to know what these places are really like. I think the book is trying to convey that no matter what you say you are going to do, it's never going to matter unless you actually do it. It's all very well talking about these people, trapped in places they cannot escape, but unless you really get the message out there, like this book is, nothing will change.

Then there is the bone sparrow, the thing the book is named after. While this is not quite as prominent throughout the book as I think it should and could be, it is still memorable and makes the Bone Sparrow just that little bit more unique.

I would gladly read more books by this author, and I would think it is definitely deserving of the Carnegie medal.

Posted on: 22nd March 2017 at 11:39 am

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