The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

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The strength of Fraillon’s novel lies in its description of camp life...But it is let down by the lack of any attempt to make Subhi believably Muslim or Burmese, despite Fraillon’s stated aim of drawing attention to the persecuted Rohingya people.
-Financial Times

Synopsis

'A special book.' —Morris Gleitzman, author of Once Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of a distant homeland, Subhi has only ever known life behind the fences. But his world is far bigger than that—every night, the magical Night Sea from his mother's stories brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories. And as he grows, his imagination threatens to burst beyond the limits of his containment. The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie—a scruffy, impatient girl who appears on the other side of the wire fence and brings with her a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it herself, she relies on Subhi to unravel her family's love songs and tragedies. Subhi and Jimmie might both find comfort—and maybe even freedom—as their tales unfold. But not until each has been braver than ever before.
 

About Zana Fraillon

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Published November 1, 2016 by Disney Hyperion. 240 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Bone Sparrow
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Financial Times

Below average
Reviewed by Suzi Feay on Jul 22 2016

The strength of Fraillon’s novel lies in its description of camp life...But it is let down by the lack of any attempt to make Subhi believably Muslim or Burmese, despite Fraillon’s stated aim of drawing attention to the persecuted Rohingya people.

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