Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
AR Reading Level: 4.4
On the library stacks: YA Fiction
Recommended for: Grades 7+
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Chiko's father is a doctor who has been imprisoned for speaking out against the government of Burma. As money runs scarce for Chiko and his mother, 15-year old Chiko decides to answer an ad in the newspaper to become a teacher. When he arrives for the interview, however, he realizes he has been set up and will be forced to become a soldier to fight against the Karenni people.
Tu Reh is a young Karenni boy who watched Burmese soldiers burn down his village. Living in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand, he is angry and wants revenge. But when his chance comes, will he take it, or will he show mercy according to the principles he has been taught?
This book is written in a straight forward and simple manner that is easy and engaging to read. It's a story about friendship despite extremely trying circumstances that will resonate with people of all cultures and backgrounds.
I knew virtually nothing about the plight of the Karenni people and very little about the history of Burma in general before I read this. I love books like this for bringing things to my attention that I have previously ignored and for encouraging me to become more educated and aware of the world in which I live.
Also reviewed by: Book Nut ~ Ms. Yingling Reads ~ Bermudaonion's Weblog ~ Becky's Book Reviews ~ Your link here?
1 hour ago