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Month in review

Reviews
An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley Alienated by Melissa Landers
American Panda by Gloria Chao
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
Book Clubbed by Lorna Barrett
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gayle Rosengren
A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O'Leary
Giant Days, Volume 6 by John Allison
Internet Famous by Danika Stone
The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford
Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
Monsters Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
Out of Tune by Gail Nall
Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
The Problim Children by Natalie Lloyd
A Side of Sabotage by C.M. Surrisi
Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition, Book One by Jeff Lemire
Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination by Mitsumasa Anno
The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Miscellaneous
February 2018 Sources
February 2018 Summary
It's Monday, what are you reading (March 05) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 12) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 19) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 26)

Road Essays
Introduction to the road narrative project
Metaphoric language of marginalized travelers
Place Character Shibboleth: Towards an understanding of bypass stories
Rethinking Urban Fantasy: Where is Nagspeake?
Road trip to the underworld: the Nome King and Hades

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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The Bone Sparrow: 03/19/18

The Bone Sparrow

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon is set in one of Australia's permanent detention centres for refugees. The main story is told from the point of view of Subhi, the first child born in the centre as he and his family and everyone else endures under the poor living conditions and terrible heat.

Subhi has his mother's stories to keep him going and he believes that the stories are coming true, bringing hope on the Night Ocean. His grasping at a magical solution is one of survival under inhumane conditions.

Were this book just about Subhi, his family, and the other refugees, I would rate this story higher. Unfortunately his story is pushed aside by the insertion of a girl, Jimmie, who lives in the town outside of the centre.

Sure, Jimmie has lost her mother and she's illiterate — two personal tragedies. And lucky for her, there's Subhi to read to her and to make her feel special. And that somehow makes Subhi's situation better even though nothing changes for him.

Take for instance the main motif — a sparrow. For Subhi, a sparrow in the house means death. Of course it does; death is all around him. If not actual death, it's the specter of it that lurks in the illness, the lack of food, the intolerable heat, and so forth. But Jimmie comes in with no sense of perspective and blithely says that a sparrow means hope. And from then on it does because of her privilege gives her the say-so.

Two stars

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