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Mrs Ellyard, Glossopdale Community College

The Bone Sparrow

'The Bone Sparrow' is an unusual book - it took me a chapter or two to take to it. Then I had to work out what country and era it is set in. I would almost recommend reading the 'Afterword' first to give you context and clarify the gravity of the setting.

I was shocked to learn, actually, that it is not set in a war zone, prison or concentration camp - there were notes of 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' for me - but in a current day refugee camp in Australia.

The deplorable conditions, discrimination and inequality described in the novel are almost unbelievable for the modern, civilised world, and once again, we have a Carnegie book that makes me feel fortunate to have been born where I was and at the time that I was.The characters in the book are not so lucky.

Human kindness and friendship, family-ties and resilience are all themes of the story, and it reads very well. I enjoyed the style and attention to detail, and it seemed very well researched. What disturbs me was the way that refugees are treated as a problem to be dealt with by discipline and hardship, and compassion seems to be missing in the management of the camp.

This is a thought-provoking read and highlights the plight of people who escaped to a 'better place' but sadly find little comfort there. There is a terrible sense of anticipation and boredom with waiting for the next step in their lives to unfold. This is what keeps you reading - to find out if there is a solution for the characters, and what their future could possibly hold.

Posted on: 23rd March 2017 at 09:10 am

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