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Izzy, Northampton Academy

The Bone Sparrow

I really loved this book! The Bone Sparrow is about a boy called Subhi who is a refugee that was born inside an immigration detention centre and has never known any different from a life behind fences. Whilst most, including his best friend Eli, go on a hunger strike because they are ‘sick of being invisible’, Subhi only cares about Jimmie who is from the Outside. Jimmie sneaks into the immigration centre and together she and Subhi read from her Mother’s book.
Subhi is with his Mother and his sister, Queeny, but has never met his father. ‘The night sea’ brings him treasures sent by his father that he believes are messages, because Subhi is expecting him to come soon.
I have to say that it did take me a little while to get into it as there isn’t much action at the start of the book however, after a little way in I found it to be very gripping. The plot was very well-constructed and it is quite sad and touching. I loved how Subhi and Jimmie read her Mother’s stories together and how it is introduced in parts throughout the book. I also loved how Jimmie’s and Subhi’s past is connected through the Bone Sparrow and how Jimmie’s Mother wrote about someone called Iliya, who turned out to be Subji’s father. They also linked because at the beginning of the book, it mentioned a coin in Subhi’s collection of treasures and it was revealed to us at the end that this was the coin that was from the Bone sparrow necklace (which was in the possession of Jimmie.) I also liked how Subhi and Jimmie remained unaware of this.
I thought that it was interesting how given the chance to escape, Subhi felt safer inside the confines of the immigration centre and returned there to his family. I felt like, at first, ‘The night sea’ was quite hard to understand as it was Subhi’s imagination and yet he was finding physical objects that belonged to his Father. However it is explained at the end of the book that it was Queeny who had been ‘giving’ the treasures to Subhi and why. Another thing that I would say, is that it seemed a bit easy for Jimmie, having never been to the immigration centre before, was able to find a way inside and come back several times without being caught. (This also seemed odd because Subhi and Eli delivered packages to people and knew all the gaps but didn’t know this one.) Other than this, I thought that was a great book and definitely in a good chance for winning the medal this year.

Posted on: 15th May 2017 at 10:07 pm

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