Review – The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

Posted October 26, 2016 by Emily in review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley, Disney Book Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
TITLE: The Bone Sparrow
AUTHOR: Zana Fraillon
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
PUBLICATION DATE: November 1st 2016
Source: NetGalley, Disney Book Group
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
RATING: 4 Stars

Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of a distant homeland, Subhi has only ever known life behind the fences. But his world is far bigger than that—every night, the magical Night Sea from his mother's stories brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories. And as he grows, his imagination threatens to burst beyond the limits of his containment.

The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie—a scruffy, impatient girl who appears on the other side of the wire fence and brings with her a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it herself, she relies on Subhi to unravel her family's love songs and tragedies.

Subhi and Jimmie might both find comfort—and maybe even freedom—as their tales unfold. But not until each has been braver than ever before.


The Bone Sparrow tells a story about a Burmese refugee, Subhi, and his life in an Australian detention center for refugees as well as Jimmie, a girl lost after the death of her mother.

The Bone Sparrow isn’t a perfect novel. But it still tells an important story that I think everyone should read, especially in the world we live in today. It’s very eye-opening as it touches on subjects that many people don’t really talk/know about. It wonderfully challenges the world’s perception of refugees and how they should be treated.

The story is beautifully written and wonderfully illustrates what happens to many refugees who are seeking asylum in other countries. The Bone Sparrow manages to seamlessly weave two different points of view to create one story.

The Bone Sparrow is definitely more character driven than anything else. While the plot is interesting to read about, the story holds a lot more meaning coming from Subhi’s point of view.

Thankfully, I found it quite easy to connect to Subhi. It was really easy to sympathize with him and his innocence was endearing and ultimately, at the end, heartbreaking. Jimmie, the other narrator, on the other hand, I had trouble with. While I could understand her presence in The Bone Sparrow (her character serves a good purpose), she was much more difficult to connect and sometimes I wondered if her story (or the role her character serves) could have been delivered in another way or if another vehicle could have been used in her place.

In Conclusion…

The Bone Sparrow tells a story everyone should read. The story was well crafted and the two points of view were nicely woven together. However, while I liked Subhi, I was disappointed that I didn’t like Jimmie nearly as much.

Final Rating
3.5 Stars
4 Stars
4.5 Stars
4 Stars
Overall: 4


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