Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Day of the Pelican Book Review

The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release date: October 19, 2009
Source: Flamingnet

Meli Lleshi is positive that her drawing of her teacher with his pelican nose started it all. The Lleshis are Albanians living in Kosovo, a country trying to fight off Serbian oppressors, and suddenly they are homeless refugees. Old and young alike, they find their courage tested by hunger, illness, the long, arduous journey, and danger on every side. Then, unexpectedly, they are brought to America by a church group and begin a new life in a small Vermont town. The events of 9/11 bring more challenges for this Muslim family--but this country is their home now and there can be no turning back. A compassionate, powerful novel by a master storyteller.


I really enjoyed The Day of the Pelican. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a middle grade book, rather than YA, but as I continued reading I saw it was actually for older readers. Meli was a great main character, and her personality shone throughout the novel. Her brother really bothered me, and at times I just wanted to yell at him, but overall I really liked most of the characters. It was interesting to see how they grew. In the beginning of the book, Meli was just thirteen, and by the end she was fifteen. One of the best things about this novel was how well it flowed. Each page left me anxious to find out what was going to happen next and the dialogue was great. I’m really glad I read this, especially since I really enjoyed The Bridge to Terabithia.

I’ve read many books about the Holocaust and people my age’s experience in the camps. The Day of the Pelican showed that there have been other times in our history where people have been forced to go to camps based on their religion, ethnicity, etc. Although their experience wasn’t nearly as bad as those during the Jewish Holocaust, it’s still horrifying to believe this could ever have happened.

Although at some points I felt some details were left out that should have been there and it seemed like one chapter Meli was thirteen and the next fourteen, the story went by fast, but I think this was for the best. I got the main story with out a lot of unnecessary details. While reading I was glad that certain scenes didn’t drag on and I think everything was in the novel that needed to be there. The Day of the Pelican was a great book written by a fantastic author and I know Meli’s story will be with me for years to come.

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars


  1. Come pick up your award! http://lafemmereaders.blogspot.com/2009/10/dragons-loyalty-award.html

  2. OH!!! i am always drawn to books about the holocast, its just a really interesting topic. I def. check this one out :D


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