Saturday, March 12, 2011
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins is a novel about humanity, survival, and war set in Burma. Two young boys, Chiko and Tai, form a close bond after being captured and forced to join the Burmese military despite having opposite strengths and weaknesses. Chiko changes his destiny by trading places with Tai to protect him. Tai is sent to work an office position while Chiko is headed to the mine-filled jungle. Chiko narrates Part One of the book. Part Two of the book is told by Tu Reh, a boy who despises the Burmese military for the horrible things they have done to his people. Will Tu Reh help a seriously injured Chiko while his conscience tells him that doing so will put his village at risk? Will Chiko survive to see his family and Tai again? Perkins sweeps her readers away to the frontlines of civil unrest. I especially appreciate the voices of humanity expressed by multiple realistic characters. Click on the video below to hear Mitali Perkins discuss Bamboo People.