Sunday, October 4, 2009

Book Review: The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson

In this short middle grade novel, we follow Meli Lleshi, an ethnic Albanian in Kosovo, as she and her relatives live in fear of Milosevic and his Serbian army, eventually becoming refugees and finally making their way to a new life in Vermont.

Paterson, known best for Newberry winning books BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA and JACOB I HAVE LOVED, is not afraid to tackle difficult topics like war and death, though the more horrific realities of war are muted here. Her skill and experience in crafting three dimensional characters we come to care about is evident, and the Lleshi family’s story is an important one that children certainly need to hear.

But I do wonder if this book has an audience beyond required reading lists. There is nothing really compelling in the story that might appeal to a book buying or library going 10-14 yr old reader or that even differentiates it from other war/hardship/refugee tales (not that I know of any others for this age group).

THE DAY OF THE PELICAN comes out October 19th in hardcover.

12 comments:

Raspberry said...

I have it on my 'to read' list because it's Paterson...but sometimes I have a hard time getting the motivation to read her books. On the other hand, after I do I have never regretted it.

bermudaonion said...

This might not appeal to 10 to 14 year olds, but it sounds good to me.

Pelican Cases said...

I just started to read the Bridge to Terabithia, and I am already hooked. Unfortunately I saw the movie first, but I am not letting that get in to way of my enjoying this book. I think this author has a lot of talent and I would love to have to opportunity to meet her in person. The Day of the Pelican seems like a great book and I can truly understand the story considering how many personal friends of mine had suffered from the Yugoslavian War.

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

This is how I felt about the Magician's Elephant. It was as if DiCamillo was writing for the award giving audience not the children. I'll be reading this for our Mock Newbery club though.

Staci said...

I liked Bridge of Terabithia but I don't think many kids would read it if it wasn't a required read in the fifth grade. I'll be interested to read this myself sometime.

Alice Teh said...

Hi Lenore, I've totally enjoyed Bridge to Terabithia. I will keep this new book in mind.

Kailana said...

I will keep this book in mind! I really like the cover, though!

Insert Book Title said...

I really like this cover!

Ladytink_534 said...

Love this cover! I really do need to get around to reading and watching Bridge to Terabithia...

brizmus said...

I will read this because it is Katherine Patterson, and I just wonder - can she really do wrong?

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Hmmm... not sure I'll be reading this. Sounds too much like the stuff they forced on us in school. Thanks for the honest review.

Zibilee said...

I had not yet heard of this book, but you do ask a good question about who will be reading this. I guess there are a lot of these types of stories out there, and with nothing to distinguish it, it may get lost among the others.