Thursday, April 14, 2011
Bamboo People vs. The Great Wide Sea
First off, we want to say that we hope neither of these books win. We've both read books that have already been eliminated that we enjoyed more.
We wouldn't recommend either book for high school. They would have to be pushed into the hands of upper elementary and junior high boys in order for them to be read as the covers and descriptions are not very appealing.
There were certainly parts in both books we enjoyed.
In The Great Wide Sea the bond between brothers and the danger and excitement of their adventures, while somewhat unrealistic, was what kept us reading. Spoiler alert!! We would have both been happier if the dad had not miraculously walked into the room at the end, but had died instead.
In Bamboo People, we liked the convergence of the two different viewpoints and the way that child soldiers, refugees and the Burmese conflict were worked into the story without lecturing. The themes of humanity in intolerable situations and friendship were also compelling. We felt the book would be more appropriate with an upper elementary class and that there are better choices for studying conflicts or child soldiers once students hit junior high (Chanda's Wars and A Long Way Gone).
Since we can't throw both books out, we choose Bamboo People to go on to the next round.
Barb and Mona