Whelan, Gloria. Homeless Bird. New York: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2001.
Summary: Koly, a thirteen year old girl born in India is faced with a life of uncertainty as she goes into an arranged marriage. She doesn’t have the pleasure of going to school every day, as her parents believe she won’t need the education when she becomes a wife. When a husband is found for Koly, the family must give up some of their most prized possessions, in order to pay for the dowry. No picture is ever sent of the boy, which makes Koly a little suspicious. After the wedding has taken place, Koly learns that her husband is extremely sick and that their family only needed the dowry to pay for a trip to take him to the holy waters of the Ganges. Koly soon finds herself abandoned by her new family and thrown into a brutal society where she must use her courage and faith, in hopes to survive.
Reaction: I really enjoyed reading this book. I could really relate to Koly’s experiences having almost the same background as she does. A few Christmases ago, I remember talking to my grandmother about her arranged marriage. She said it really wasn’t as bad as I might think, since she met my grandfather on a few occasions before marrying him. However, marrying someone of her choice was completely out of the question. My dad also grew up in the same society and was pushed towards having an arranged marriage. However, he rebelled and ended up marrying my mother, who was of no where near being in the same caste as my father. I’m extremely glad that I’m not pressured into having an arranged marriage. Although I’m sure my family would be extremely pleased if I ended up with a successful Indian doctor. Anyways, I’m glad my dad did decide to follow his heart, rather than what was expected of him. It’s really given me inspiration on how to live my life.
Despite the fact that it was a pretty short book, I really didn’t find anything wrong with it. I wish it had been a...