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Freya, Dame Alice Owen\'s School Library

The Bone Sparrow

This book is, as the reviews suggest, a significant story which everyone should read and anyone would enjoy.Told by a young boy in a detention camp, it is enlightening and teaches you how so much we take for granted is coveted by those in such terrible conditions. Also, it is heart breaking to realise that people like Subbhi have never known anywhere else before than within the fences of the camp.He was born there, so his only family he knows is his mother, sister, Queeny and friends in the camp, like Eli. Family plays a core role in this story, so if you like reading about sisterly relationships, or strong friendships against the odds, this is the book for you. It is easy to relate to all of the characters, so as you read, you feel compassion for Subbhi and those around him. It is true, what the author said; how often we dehumanise the people suffering far away into a mere statistic. However, The Bone Sparrow will change that for you. Understanding the fear, the horror and the pain that they go through is vital to being aware and not ignorant. This is woven cleverly into the story, by Subbhi's sister, Queeny, sending out images of everyone in the camp for the world to see. The purpose of this was to remind people that they are real people, suffering. That no one should forget them: they wanted to exist,and be remembered. I found it interesting because I realised how unaware I was and how I, too sometimes forget, or pretend, that people like them exist.
I particularly enjoy how some of the aspects included are slighly abstract.For example, the Night Sea, which features in bringing back treasures from her Ba, is slightly unexplained. During most of the book, it may confuse you because the rest of the story is so realistic and serious, but the Night Sea is mysterious. However, there are many satisfying conclusions at the end which tie all of the loose strands together in a way so that the story stays with you and you never forget it.
Another unusual choice Zanna Fraillon has made is that the chapters are from two points of view, still in the 3rd person, but they do not follow an alternating pattern. Jimmie, the girl Subbhi meets, is from the Outside. She has her own room, she goes to school,she has a Dad, but her Mum died and she can't read. Subbhi can. She brings the book belonging to her dead mother, and Subbhi reads to her. But one day, anger starts to conquer everyone in the camp. Both Subbhi and Jimmie have an ominous feeling. Then something happens.
I vehemently urge anyone to give this book a go, any age above 11. This book will definitely make you think. It gives an insight into a horrific world where hope can still prevail.

Posted on: 27th April 2017 at 07:52 pm

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