Tuesday 20 March 2012

80.The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant

The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant
Published March 2012 by Allen  Unwin

From the publisher:

A remarkable and gripping story about one refugee boy on a desperate journey from Afghanistan, and the Australian boy who befriends him.

The story starts in Afghanistan when Omar and his friend Zakir witness the destruction of one of the two Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban.  The explosion kills Zakir, and in a rage, Omar attacks the Taliban soldiers only to be brutally attacked.  The attack left him alive, but with the Taliban seeking him out for revenge, Omar must find away to leave Afghanistan.

His journey is treacherous and he finds he has to trust the most untrustworthy people, but he does find his way to Australia.  It's here that we meet Hector.  Omar can't speak because of what the Taliban did to him, Hector can't speak because he is dealing with a trauma that isn't explained until the end of the book.  

They meet while working at a candle factory, where people from all walks of life are thrown together, in what is not always a happy workplace.  The boys find out about a people smuggling ring and Omar.
The book is told in three parts.  The first part is Omar's story, the second is Omar and Hector's story, and the third is Hector's story when he is in Afghanistan searching for Omar.  I found the beginning of the book quite shocking, in hindsight it probably wasn't that bad, but I think it's because I had no indication that something so horrible and violent was going to happen.  For me the first part of the book was the stand out, seeing what Omar had to go through was eye opening.  We see a lot of refugees coming into Australia but we don't always see what has happened to make them leave their homes and families, in this book we get a glimpse into why.

Who will like this book: Girls and boys age 14+
Read it if you like: In the Sea There Are Crocodiles 

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