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Mrs Jones, Stockport Grammar School

The Bone Sparrow

Subhi was born in a refugee detention centre in Australia. All he knows of the outside world is from old books in the recreation room and his mother's stories of life in Burma where the Rohingya people are persecuted. His mother does not tell stories any more because she is ill and sleeps all the time so all he has are his sister Queeny, his friend Eli - and his imagination. One day Jimmie appears. Jimmie is from the "Outside" - An Australian girl with problems of her own who has sneaked in under the fence. Her mother is dead and her father and older brother do not seem to concerned with ensuring she goes to school. Jimmie can not read but she carries her mother's notebooks which Subhi starts to read to her. The two children bond over hot chocolate and Jimmie's mother's stories.

This has often been compared to 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' which I have not read, but it is a relevant contemporary story of fear, sadness and injustice. It is a story that needs to be told, and needs to be read but it is not a heavy, worthy read. Subhi's humorous narrative bounces along and it is a very quick read. I haven't finished it yet, but I already know it will not end well

Posted on: 4th April 2017 at 04:18 pm

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