Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Book Review: Homeless Bird

Title: Homeless Bird
Author: Gloria Whelan
Age Suitability: Older children and teens

Earlier this year we read and enjoyed Chu Ju's House by Gloria Whelan. Homeless Bird is another "living geography" book in the same vein, with a teenage girl facing and overcoming adversity. This time the location is India, and the premise for the story is that thirteen year old Koly's arranged marriage ends disastrously when her sickly bridegroom dies soon after the wedding. She is left a widow, giving her very low status in her Indian village society. Ill-treated by her bitter mother-in-law, she is eventually abandoned to fend for herself. Thanks to the charity of a rich woman she is ultimately able to build a new life.

Again we enjoyed this book, which is a good addition to a study of India. I rated it about equally with Chu Ju's House, but Angel liked Homeless Bird better. Koly is a sympathetic character, and Gloria Whelan a very readable author. The only red flag I can think of is that at one point Koly lies in order to visit a friend's room where she is given a drug-laced drink and narrowly escapes some unwanted advances. There is nothing graphic, and Koly clearly realises the mistake she has made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A couple of weeks ago, I read this book, "Homeless Bird" as an extra credit assingment. I loved how Gloria Whelan inserted a perfectly interesting topic and put it into a wonderful novel. I wanted to thank the Bookworm company for posting all of these book reviews. I hope you all know how many people you helped at my school...

Thank you!