Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson

I finished listening to the unabridged audiobook titled The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson earlier in the week. 

This is the first novel I've read or listened to by Ms. Paterson and I really enjoyed the storyline and characters a lot. I'd give this book a 9 out of 10 rating score.

I also felt that Tavia Gilbert did and excellent job of reading this novel, which made for an even better, more enjoyable experience as it gave a whole new dimension to the story and characters.

The Day of the Pelican is a children's book. The following is an editorial review from the School Library Journal that I found through the Amazon website:
Grade 5–8—On the day 11-year-old Meli draws a picture of a pelican that bears a striking resemblance to her teacher—and gets caught—spring is just around the corner in Kosovo. But along with the change in season in 1998 come life-altering changes for Albanian Kosovars, the ethnic group to which Meli's family belongs. Because she is forced to stay after class, her 13-year-old brother, Mehmet, heads home alone and is taken by the Serbian police, beaten, and dumped in a field to die. When he returns home after being nursed to health by the Kosovo Liberation Army, his family must flee. Surviving extreme hardship and violence, they arrive in a refugee camp, and at long last immigrate to the United States. All is well until the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when their family is mistreated for being Muslim, albeit nonpracticing. Kindness and forgiveness on both sides bring about healing and the realization that the Lleshis have truly found a home. The themes of family loyalty and living peaceably with others along with the exploration of ethnic prejudice are handled so as to make for meaningful discussion in a classroom or book group, and the span of the main characters' ages through their teen years makes the book an appropriate choice for a wide range of readers. The setting, complete with television and other fixtures of contemporary life, demonstrates that this sort of tragedy belongs to our own time and not just the distant past. While attempts to explain the political situation at times break the flow of the narrative, this little-known piece of history has been brought to life with sensitivity and grace.
Which books have you enjoyed reading or listening to lately?

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