62 thoughts on “The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

  1. Even though I loved this book and it is one of my favourites from the book awards, I personally (kind of) found it a bit like ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. It was like this book because there was a person from the ‘Outside’, and a less fortunate person inside a camp. The ending in both books was SLIGHTLY similar (the people who have read it may get what I mean), but I found that both books had a similar concept for the ending. Both books though had separate details, and they were both amazing and I would read them again in a heartbeat, but I just feel like they both have their similar concepts and styles to write in.

  2. I reread this book as I put it down after a bad start. It was brilliant, the storyline is great and the ending is really sad. Great book!

    • I’m glad that you decided to try it again! I agree that the start was slow- I felt that it took quite a long time to get into the actual story- but that was part of the book’s charm. I also agree that the ending was spectacular- it was heartbreaking and moving all at the same time.

  3. I personally found this book amazing! It shines a light to the way some unfortunate people are treated in the world, and the way Subhi’s character is portrayed is intriguing! The book is written perfectly and I really enjoyed reading it!

    At first, I did find the book slightly boring, but the action soon sped up! Even though the book was a bit boring, the first few chapters were really interesting, I found, and as soon as Subhi met Jimmie the book’s action soon sped up!

    In my opinion, the end of the book is a bit of a shock.

    Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who was looking for a fantastic story based on morals or looking for something new to try. It was a great read, and would definitely like to read something like this again!

    • I agree. I found this book extremely good and very interesting, however, like you, I did find the ending a shock too.
      Overall, I found this book an amazing and interesting read.

    • Your point about morals is incredibly true. The book largely focused on how appalling the conditions were and how inhumanely they were treated. The style was unlike a lot of other books that I’ve read before- and I feel like more books should be written in that eye-opening way.

      The start of the book was definitely quite slow, but I feel like it sped up quickly and became very engaging. I couldn’t put it down!

  4. I am really enjoying this book so far. I love the mysteriousness of why Subhi is in the place she is in. I like how the story is told but the dual narrative was slightly confused at the beginning but once you get used to it, it is easy to understand.

      • Dual narrative is often quite hard to understand, but also portrays a clear view of multiple opinions and makes certain aspects of the novel a lot clearer.

  5. I have just started reading this book and although I’m slightly confused about the setting of it, I love the story. Hopefully, I will find the rest of the book as interesting as the start of it.

      • I agree with your point about the story line- I haven’t read many books that portrayed such a realistic situation in such a poetic way. It really opened my eyes to some of the horrors that seem outdated and horrible but still take place today.

        The mystery in the setting is part of the books charm. You expect it to be in a third world country, and are horrified to find out that it’s set in a country most people would think as very forward thinking. Its a beautiful portrayal of the horrors people may face in real life.

  6. I REALLY hope that the bone sparrow wins. It’s really special to me as it shines a light on a serious topic. It’s also important for people in this situation so they can be helped. But anyway. I REALLY love it and I hope it wins. Fingers crossed. : )

    • I agree. I am only halfway through the book and I love it! Some people say that it is boring at the start and takes a while to get into the book, however I love the start and think its very informative. So far I am loving this book!

      • I agree- it goes into much more depth than some of the other books do. It really deserves to win, but some of the other books nominated may be more popular as they appeal to a younger audience, of which the majority of the voters mainly consist of.

  7. With a bone tingling story line followed by a highly developed ending, the bone sparrow is one of the best storys with character development. This year the awards are going to be close…

    • I agree! The depth of the characterisation in The Bone Sparrow is amazing. The author gave both of the main characters realistic wants and hopes, which made them believable. The ending is also very well written, the only flaw being that maybe it was slightly too vague, but that was the style throughout and it fit perfectly with the rest of the novel.

      • I agree with your points about both of the main characters being realistic, however I think the ending was amazing! The twist was intriguing, and I didn’t find it too vague at all. The way it is written is amazing, and it makes you feel a range of emotions.

  8. From most of the comments above, I think this book will be more about informing readers about what life is like for refugees. When I read this book, I think I will feel empathy towards Subhi and Jimmie. However, I feel like this book should have a lot of action in it.

    • Hi Bethan! I agree with you! I’ve already read the book, but that is exactly how I felt when I’d read the blurb. It gives you a good taster as to what the book is going to be about without revealing too much of the plot and the stories it holds.

      • I agree with Rosie. The book doesn’t give any expectation of fast paced action, and by just reading the first page you can tell it is a topical novel. I appreciate that lots of people enjoy more action, but adding more excitement would take away the realistic aspect.

        • I agree, the book is realistic and informative, and is written to give readers a feel for what happens to people like Subhi. You can’t tell that any high-paced action will be involved in the read but by the blurb I could infer that it would be more informative. The reader should feel more empathy towards the characters rather than reading the book because of expected, fast-paced action.

  9. I’m at chapter 22 and this book is amazing.
    The way Suhbi and Jimmie develops and how they have developed is just incredible. I can’t believe how many emotions I can’t believe and its hard to process all the stories that have been told. This book is truly incredible.

    • I totally agree with you! The character development in the book is truly amazing and made me feel so many different emotions. I’m not usually one to cry during books, but parts of this book really caught me off guard! I love it!

      • The characters were continually developed throughout the entire novel, which probably was my favourite part. Most books develop a character slightly, but The Bone Sparrow was incredibly detailed and in depth. They both had realistic dreams and quirks that made them amazing characters.

        • I agree. The characters were well-developed and they all had a very intriguing backstory to each of them. When you started reading, you didn’t know much about who they were and what they were doing there, but as the book went on, you began to understand more about them.

  10. After reading most of the way I find myself liking the main character’s more and more. I like the way Jimmie thinks its exciting but its not. I also like the 1st person perspective of Subhi and then the switch.

    • I agree with you. The switching of the perspectives really adds to the story as it shows how they each feel at different points in time. It makes you feel closer to both of the main characters in a way that you don’t usually get in most other books.

      • Although I don’t usually enjoy reading first person perspective novels, the contrast used in The Bone Sparrow was expertly done. It emphasised the difference between the two main characters subtly, and created an addition to the book that was hardly noticeable but incredibly endearing.

      • I agree with both of you about the switching of perspectives. It makes the reader feel more for both of the main characters and also see the story and plot from contrasting lives.

  11. After reading this book, I thought that it ended the same way it started, but a bit different. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone because it was quite boring. One thing I did like though was Jimmie because she adds an element of adventure into the book.

    • I agree with you when you say that Jimmie’s personality adds adventure to the book. She was portrayed very well! However, I’d be interested to know why you thought that the book was boring? I very much enjoyed it.

      • I feel like some of the plot points were a bit slow moving, but I wouldn’t change that. It adds an element of mystery to the book that is very well done and creates suspense and tension in an environment that its not easy to do.

        • I personally found the slow-moving some of the most interesting points in the story. It includes elements of mystery, as you said, but then again it describes the issues where Subhi is.

  12. This book isn’t brilliant. It’s thought provoking and incredibly interesting, presenting a REAL situation that you would not think was even legal. The way it’s written is gripping, and although the plot is slow moving at times, this adds the the sense of bordem that the characters feel. The was they link into each other is mind blowing and unexpected.

  13. I have read up to chapter 18 and so far this book has been wonderful. I’ve seen alot of negative comments and I genuinely can’t understand why. (then again i haven’t finshed it yet.)

    In my opinion, this book is important to us as a society to understand what the life of refugees. The situation Subhi is in is relatable to alot of people everywhere.

    As for the story, well I can say its well delivered. Each and every relationship seems long thought out. The plot gets your heart racing and you turning the page so fast its insane.

    I think that you shouldn’t be quick to judge. Many people worked hard on this book for a long time and its a great book. So please, take the time to read it.


    • I very much agree with your comment! This book is honestly one of the best of the Concorde books I’ve read so far. I don’t understand why people are calling the book boring like you said. I think it’s a real page-turner and I couldn’t put it down!

      • I agree as well. Although parts were quite slow paced, the actual story was gripping and I read the entire book in one day. However, I also do agree with the people that are calling it boring, as some parts seem quite repetitive at times, and lots of younger readers taking part in the Concorde book awards may be more used to faster paced books and not topical ones.

  14. I really enjoyed this book however, I found that Subhi the male name was hard to pronounce and the female name Jimmie was an unusual name for a female.

    • I agree with Rachel,Abbeywood. Even though I have not yet read the book, I do think that the main characters names are unusual.
      However, I think that the more you read on, the more you will get used to the names.
      I am really looking forward to reading this book.

      • The name Subhi is foreign, and changing this to a more ‘normal’ western name would be taking away part of his culture. It would make the story less realistic. Many people with names from that part of the world could easily argue that our names are hard to pronounce.

        • I agree – I think, even though the names are unusual in the UK, they could be a common name in their culture. The names add to the book because if they had a more British names, the book would be less interesting (you could feel less empathy towards the characters).

          • Especially as the book is set neither in the UK or the USA, where we hear most of the names originate from. The use of foreign names in Australia was purposefully done to make him seem like an outsider.

    • It is common that people from other countries have different names to us, but I see why you’re confused or unable to pronounce it. However, if Subhi had more of an English name, it would make it less realistic for many.

  15. I feel this book will be really good because it is interesting and the main character has an interesting backstory. The cover is also intriguing and doesn’t give off a lot of information.
    However, I feel like this book will be a harder read than the other books and it might not intrigue younger readers.

    • I agree with your point about the age range that it is aimed towards. The majority of the voters will become bored by the slow moving story line and may become confused by the complexity of the plot. However, it doesn’t take away the fact that this a great book, one of my favorites this year.

      • I completely agree. Before I read this book I thought it would be a harder read then the others, and in a way it was because it took you on an emotional rollercoaster. At some points, the book loaded you with interesting information.
        I didn’t find the plot confusing at all, but I get why others did. However, if you read the book thoroughly enough, you won’t find it confusing, even if the plot is complex.

  16. I really enjoyed this book. At first, it was slightly difficult to get myself into, however I kept on reading it and actually found it amazing.
    The story was very touching and it was fascinating to find out what life was like for people like Subhi. I think that the idea was extremely unique and intriguing to read.
    The only thing about this book that was a bit disappointing was that the book seemed to end the same way that it started.
    Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot and think that lots of others will too.
    Marianna, Abbeywood

    • I agree with all your comments, especially about the ending. Although significant progress was made in the character development and his position in life, I felt that the suspense was consistent throughout the entire novel and the ending was unclear about many things. However, I also feel that this was intentional to leave many things to the reader.

  17. This book looks really interesting, especially after reading the blurb. I think this book is going to be interesting because its about true events that are happening around the world.

    • Its actually about some of the horrific events that happen over the world. This specific book is set in Australia, but a lot of the themes are darker than what you think would be legal in developed countries. The style of writing is engaging but also makes you think. I would recommend this.

  18. The book looks very interesting from the cover. But when you open it and read the first few pages, it starts to get a little bit boring and not much story happens for a while. Jacob, Abbeywood School

    • I disagree with this because I have read this story and it is very fascinating. Just because the first pages are not very interesting, but when you carry on reading it is really good. However I felt that it ends the same way it starts.

    • I agree with Rachel, Abbeywood.
      I think that you should give this book another chance, as even though the start isn’t that great, it turns out to be an amazing book and I really enjoyed it.

    • In my opinion, this book is interesting and important Read to about chapter 10 and see if you enjoy it or not. Several books need to not start in high action so the plot can be set in motion.

      Not only is it interesting but its important to read so we can understand the trials and tribulations of refugees.

    • I disagree. The type of book it is doesn’t need a lot of action, the main plot focuses on morals and the reality of how people are being treated. I understand how this type of book may not be your usual read, but it has a much deeper meaning about not being treated as human that would be spoilt if the action was straight away.

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