BookBrowse Reviews The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Conch Bearer

by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni X
The Conch Bearer by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2005, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


For children ages 9+

From the book jacket: In a dingy shack in the less than desirable neighborhood that he calls home 12-year-old Anand is entrusted with a conch shell that possesses mystical powers. His task is to return the shell to its rightful home many hundreds of miles away. Accompanying him are Nisha, a headstrong but resourceful child of the streets, and a mysterious man of indeterminate age and surprising resources named Abadhyatta.

Their journey will take them from the teeming streets of Kolkata, India, across the arid plains and turbulent rivers to a secret valley high in the Himalayas. Along the way they encounter powerful spirits, both good and unspeakably evil; fantastical creatures; and a trio of intrepid travelers who will linger in your memory long after the last page of this book is turned.

Comment: I read The Conch Bearer to our two children last year (then aged 8 and 10). We all enjoyed it and they always wanted to squeeze in a couple more pages when it was time to stop. One reviewer suggests that The Conch Bearer is merely a rehashing of Kipling - presumably comparing it to Kim. All I can say to that is I suggest the reviewer try reading Kim to a few elementary school age children and see how she does!  We've read a fair amount of Kipling with the children (The Just So Stories, Riki Tiki Tavi and many of the Jungle Books stories, but gave up on Kim entirely after about 30 pages - it seemed to be weighted down with a level of detail and, dare I say it, British jingoism, that just did not sit well with such a young audience.

However, I digress (yet again); back to The Conch Bearer - we found it to be an enchanting tale which lifted us all out of our suburban reality into the back streets of Calcutta, and into a classic adventure of good versus evil, brimming with the sights and smells of Divakaruni's country of birth. I am happy to recommend it as a book to read aloud for children aged 8 and up, and to read for themselves probably 10 years and above.

This review is from the The Conch Bearer. It first ran in the March 2, 2005 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Code Breaker
    The Code Breaker
    by Walter Isaacson
    What makes humans human? It's a mystery that has inspired philosophers and driven scientific ...
  • Book Jacket: Genesis
    Genesis
    by Guido Tonelli
    Popular science books represent an important niche in non-fiction. They build a bridge between ...
  • Book Jacket: Buses Are a Comin'
    Buses Are a Comin'
    by Charles Person, Richard Rooker
    Charles Person was just 18 years old in 1961 when he became the youngest of the first wave of '...
  • Book Jacket: Firekeeper's Daughter
    Firekeeper's Daughter
    by Angeline Boulley
    Angeline Boulley's young adult novel Firekeeper's Daughter follows 18-year-old Daunis — ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Girl in His Shadow
by Audrey Blake
The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Ariadne
    by Jennifer Saint

    A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

  • Book Jacket

    Crossing the River
    by Carol Smith

    A powerful exploration of grief that combines memoir, reportage, and lessons in how to heal.

Who Said...

They say that in the end truth will triumph, but it's a lie.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.