Thursday, January 12, 2012

Island’s End by Padma Venkatraman - ADVISABLE

Venkatraman, Padma Island’s End, 208 pgs. Putnam Juvenile, 2011. $13.57.

Rating: PG in all categories


Set in modern day, we are presented with a native population living as they always have on their isolated island. The story is told from the point of a view of Uido, a young woman still growing up and facing the rigorous training to be her tribe’s spiritual leader. When strangers start to visit the island, Uido is extremely worried, her fear only increasing when she is forced to visit a neighboring island with modern amenities. Her people also seem to be losing faith in the old ways and too curious about the modern world. When these two world collide, Uido must use her all of her abilities to face a challenge that could decimate their entire population.

A feminist at heart, I love to see women in positions of authority, especially in the spiritual realm -since it is so rare. This book has some pretty powerful messages and could easily be used as a teaching tool. The supernatural component of the islander’s spirituality will enthrall young readers. My only complaint is that the evolution of Uido from child to educated leader didn’t flow that well, or at least I wasn’t completely sold on it.

Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate.

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