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Virginia, Chobham Academy Book Group

The Bone Sparrow

The Bone Sparrow; a simple yet heart-breaking tale of hope, fear and love, that opens our eyes to the horrors in this world.

The book focuses on a young boy named Subhi who has lived his entire life in a refugee detention centre, the only thing keeping him going being the hopeful dreams inside his head. Every day Subhi goes about his life with his best friend Eli, constantly enclosed by the daunting fences that surround his prison-like home. He lives the life of thousands of others until one night he meets Jimmie, an impatient, adventure-hungry girl, from the 'outside'. The two of them then meet every night and read the stories of Jimmie's dead mother. But what intrigues Subhi the most about Jimmie is the bone sparrow necklace that hangs round her neck. While Jimmie sees it as a sign of hope, Subhi views it as a sign of a death...

At the back of the book there reads a paragraph:
"Zana Fraillon was moved to write The Bone Sparrow by the building global refugee crisis. She wanted to remind us all of the people behind the statistics, and to bring the realities of their situation to readers in a way which doesn't shy from the horror, but instead balances it with the power of hope and the strength of the human spirit."
I think this paragraph sums the book up in its entirety. The way Zana vividly describes the emotional horrors throughout the book lets readers know the full truth, but she equalises the bad with the hopeful, innocent minds of Subhi and Jimmie; Subhi still believing his Pa will come and get them and Jimmie waiting to see if her dad has finally got her a bike.

In my opinion, reading this was very entertaining, but I think it could have done with added twists, turns and plots. Also, at times the author tried to make Subhi act older than he was, when actually it was more enjoyable reading about the innocent ten year old that didn't understand the world.

The story is a simple one, but the book carries a subtle yet important message. Whether you like the book or not this is a must-read for 2017.

Posted on: 22nd April 2017 at 08:31 pm

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