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The Day of the Pelican Hardcover – October 19, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
The story is simple to follow, but I did not find the characters to be well-developed. Perhaps this was intentional on Patterson's part as, without the depth of characters, the devestating events of the growing conflict resonate clearly.
A welcome book and one which should find its place in the classroom!
This is the story of an family on the run from Serbs in Kosovo who were in close pursuit. The family first had to leave their home and family store, then their family farmhouse that they were taking refuge in was burned to the ground. But they were miraculously able to flee together on foot and eventually make it to Macedonia and then emigrate to America. The book is written through the eyes of the family's 13 year old daughter, Melia. Her family had to overcome so much- living in a war zone, then fleeing for their lives from the approaching Serbs and finally making it to a refugee camp in Macedonia. All along the way, through the character of Melia I learned what it must be liked to be hunted for your ethnic background, being driven from your home and country, living in a refugee camp and then making the long journey to a place both hopeful and scary for a new beginning- in this case Vermont.
Although this is a book based on the horrific ethnic cleansing by the Serbs, the author writes about one family that makes it out of Kosovo alive. However, it is well understood that a great many did not make it out. The writing in this book is superb- easy to read and gripping. II took me an evening to read it. Not only was it a good read, but I learned a lot about the conflict and atrocities that took place under Slobodan Milosevic who in later years would be tried and convicted as a war criminal.Read more ›
Ultimately, I think the book is a valuable read for ages 10 and up, not in spite of the horrors in its pages but because of them. Some small children play at war in the beginning pages of the book, but later the games have turned gentler, and tag and ball games rule the day. Similarly, this book is a great starting point for discussion or thought about military intervention (the Kosovar teen idolizes Bill Clinton because of the bombs he dropped on Serbian targets...never mind that some landed accidentally on Kosovars), US immigration of refugees, and retaliation vs. forgiveness.
In spite of the dark subject matter, the book ends on an upbeat note, and Baba, their solid "rock" of a father, maintains the importance of avoiding hatred, retaliation, and prejudice. Although the main character, Meli, fights against the hatred that keeps seeping into her heart through all of these experiences, I was left with the feeling that she would prevail and that she would move on to a new life here in the US. As an aside, I was also left with a feeling of pride that my country intervened to help the Kosovars, and accepts refugees and helps them start anew.
But even if your reaction differs from mine in these political issues, isn't it awesome that a children's book gives kids access to all these issues and can help them develop their own thoughts on these matters? Definitely recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must if you are a commuter that needs to "read" this for a class. Great book too, nice story.Published 17 months ago by Janice Gamboni
Couldn't put it down! Compelling and well written. The story is surprising and heart wrenching, with lots of twists and turns.Published 20 months ago by Stephanie Lange
I think this book could be more put together and you could do better after reading your previous books I know you are a great author.Published 23 months ago by malvern mom
I had numerous problems with this book, but my main complaint would be the pacing and the proportion of the book that was spent on the arduous fleeing and emigration process the... Read morePublished on June 19, 2014 by Kassie Kitty
THE DAY of the PELICAN. Good book, I bought this book for my grandson, he read the book and did a book report for his school and he got an A+ . Easy to read. Read morePublished on February 24, 2014 by Amazon Customer
I had to
read this book for school but it turned out to be a great book and is very uplifting.
I read this book for summer reading. It started out slow but I soon became interested in it. Even thought it is fiction it was as real I you could get. Overall not a bad book.Published on June 29, 2013 by TChimino
Day of the Pelican was a so-so book. I personally didn't like it but it wasn't a bad book; just it isn't my type of book. Read morePublished on May 23, 2012
The author of Bridge to Terabithia provides a wonderful addition to any middle school classroom with The Day of the Pelican. Read morePublished on July 11, 2011 by Teach Immigration