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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

'The Bone Sparrow' is not a book for the faint of heart. While it is not a horror story in the traditional sense, it is made all the more disturbing by the fact that the horrific things that happen between its pages are all too real.

The book tells the story of Suhbi, a boy born in an Australian immigration centre. He endures hardships such as lack of food and suffers at the hands of the brutal 'Jackets' (centre guards). Meanwhile, Jimmie is a girl who lives near the centre. Her mother died, leaving her with only an old notebook full of stories about the bone sparrow-- a carved model of a bird that she wears around her neck for luck. When she goes through the fence to explore the centre, she meets Subhi and learns that he can read.

Together, each night, they escape the trials of their separate lives to hear the adventures of Jimmie's ancestors, while their worlds explode around them.

This is a beautiful book, but it is full of sadness and pain. A recommended must read.

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