Friday, November 10, 2017

Outside In by Jennifer Bradbury - ADVISABLE

Bradbury, Jennifer Outside In, 270 pages.  Atheneum (Simon), 2017.  $17.  Content: G (some bullying)

Ram ekes out a life on the streets of Chandigarh, usually avoiding the bullies and finding just enough food to survive.  While fleeing one day, he sees a man carting junk into the forest.  When Ram sees the fantastical sculptures the man. Nek,  is forming from what he sees as junk, he feels the need to protect the site and the man.  Especially from the encroaching city buildings.  Along the way Nek helps Ram connect with his own heritage by relating an epic Indian myth to Ram as they work together. 

While this book probably won’t get much attention, it is not for lack of skill on Bradbury’s part.  Any middle school or elementary librarian working to build a collection of international stories needs to add this title.  And share the book and this website about Nek Chand’s creations with any geography teacher for a great lesson.  While I am pretty sure that Bradbury is not Indian, she seems to have done meticulous research into her subject and culture.

EL, MS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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