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THE DAY OF THE PELICAN by Katherine Paterson


by Katherine Paterson

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-547-18188-2
Publisher: Clarion

A realistically harsh yet hopeful account of an Albanian Kosovar family’s flight from the violence ravaging their beloved home. When, for no apparent reason, Meli’s brother Mehmet is nabbed, held in a Serbian prison and beaten before making it back home, Baba decides they must flee. They first go to Uncle Fadil’s farm, but the violence eventually follows them there; Serbian soldiers take all of their possessions, then torch the house. The family hikes to a refugee camp on the Macedonian border, where they live until immigrating to America. Although the adults struggle to learn English and face difficulty finding suitable work, the family settles in fairly well. The children, too, ultimately face challenges, including mistreatment by their classmates following 9/11. Although Meli and Mehmet are interesting, dynamic characters, Paterson is so intent on covering, however briefly, all the issues that a family like Meli’s would face that she fails to work her typical spellbinding magic. Nonetheless, a solid addition to the scant offerings on this subject.  (Historical fiction. 10 & up)