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Maddy, Chobham Academy Book Group

The Bone Sparrow

Subhi is a refugee, born in a detention centre based in Australia. This is after his mother and sister fled from the violence of their previous life. Subhi has only ever known life from behind the fence spending his time staring at caged walls. However he can escape from this cruel world for just several minutes from his mother's story telling about the night sea. Just those few minutes of fantasy can bring hope to this hopeless life he is living in.

In my opinion I would say that this book really reflects the truth of what it would be like to be born into an immigration detention centre . It is very down to earth and honest and at some points can really make the reader feel what the characters are feeling.

The main characters of this book are:

Subhi- A refugee who is born into an immigration detention centre. The main character of the book as well as the narrator.
Jimmie- The girl from the other side of the fence. Chapters are based around her character away from the detention centre. We are focused on life outside and the relationship between Subhi and herself.
Queeny- Subhi's sister. Likes to be protective of Subhi and takes charge in times of struggle and violence.
Eli- Subhi’s best friend, also has a sense of protection over Subhi and is overlooked to be one of the trouble makers of the book.
Badger and Harvey- These are the “soldiers” of the book but who are also known as “Jackets.” They keep everybody in line at the detention centre.

I wouldn’t say that any of these characters are unique but some are interesting and have a lot more going on in their lives than meets the eye. Each character has their own story to tell in some form or another. This may be whether they are filled with anger, sorrow or even if they are wanting revenge on the people who put them in the camp.
I feel as if one of the disappointing points about this book is the plot. I don’t think that the story line was planned out as much as it could have been. It took me a while to realise that some chapters were based on Subhi and that others were based on Jimmie. This is because they didn’t address what character they were talking about in each chapter. There were also not a lot of exciting events throughout the book which at some points didn’t want to make me read on. However towards the end of the book a few exciting events occur.

This book I feel is aimed at ages 13+ mainly due to subjects in which younger audiences may not understand.

This type of book is not one that I would usually pick off a library shelf. However reading new types of books is important. This book I feel didn’t make me want to read on after every page I turned as I feel that more excitement could have been added. I think that the writer could have made the book more exciting by letting Subhi and Jimmie have an adventure outside of the fence and going on more adventures. I see that the writer clearly wanted to translate what living in a detention centre is like but I feel that adding maybe a bit of fantasy or a plot twist could have made the book more thrilling.

Posted on: 26th May 2017 at 12:04 pm

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