Kids' Books We Love
Book reviews from Youth Services

Homeless Bird

  Whelan, Gloria

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of Pages: 216
Check the availability of this title at Skokie Public Library
More information about this title.


Realistic fiction

Material Type/Location:

Junior High Fiction

Reading Level:



National Book Award for Young People's Literature
Voice of Youth Award Nominee

Book Cover from Syndetics Solutions

Why I liked this title:

This is still one of my all time favorite books. It is like an Oprah book for young girls. Koly, a thirteen-year-old girl who happens to live during a very depressed time in India, is married off to what her parents think is a wealthy family. However, they find out that Koly's sixteen-year-old husband, Hari, has tuberculosis. Koly's small dowry is to pay for Hari's journey to Benares with the hopes that the holy water will cure him. Hari dies and Koly is now a widow without a future. Koly's father-in-law teaches her to read, but he dies a few years later. She is left with a mother-in-law that she has never liked and who has made Koly's life more difficult all along. I like reading this book because it has a lot of details about traditional Indian life and the terrible reality of the feudal customs which is very different from living in the United States.

Reviewed by: Susan Teller on 2/10/2004

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The Breadwinner by Ellis, Deborah
Listing Generated: 12/22/2014