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The Ink Bridge

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Each step becomes a heartbeat and I feel the distance between Omed and me closing. I remember when I first met him - when he had showed me what bravery meant. How he had stood up for what he believed. In the end that had been his undoing. The Ink Bridge is the compelling story of two young men: Omed, an Afghani refugee who flees the Taliban and undertakes a perilous journe ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Allen & Unwin (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Wrong Boy by Suzy ZailThe Ink Bridge by Neil GrantHerman and Rosie by Gus GordonSea Hearts by Margo LanaganThe Shiny Guys by Doug MacLeod
CBCA 2013 Short List
2nd out of 29 books — 13 voters
Born Confused by Tanuja Desai HidierA Time to Dance by Padma VenkatramanEnter Title Here by Rahul KanakiaKarma by Cathy OstlereSold by Patricia McCormick
South Asians in Contemporary YA
92nd out of 94 books — 36 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 372)
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Penni Russon
Oct 15, 2012 Penni Russon rated it it was amazing
Neil does something few YA writers are brave enough to do, he writes voices from the margins, voices that ring with authenticity, voices steeped in narrative. Some characters only get a few lines, and yet they are so real and vivid, I would happily have had the novel spiral away and tell their stories instead (Sheila from Cambodia, I'm looking at you). The line-by-line writing is superb, some sentences are simply breathtaking.

The story is told in three parts: third person from Omed's perspective
May 23, 2013 Sue rated it liked it
This was a book I had been looking forward to reading very much, and as I read the first part of the novel, focussing on Omed and his story, I thought it would live up to my expectations. Omed's life is a dangerous one, full of violence and uncertainty. The scenes where his tongue is cut out were among the most emotionally effecting I have read. I was enjoying Grant's writing style and flourishes of prose. Then I started reading Hec's story...and then the story of Hec as an adult trying to recon ...more
David Nott
Aug 18, 2016 David Nott rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scarlett Budden
Aug 12, 2014 Scarlett Budden rated it liked it
'The Ink Bridge' by Neil Grant was a very inspiring, well written novel. This book is written in three different parts, all in different perspective and about different elements of the story, which work together to create the heartening story of two silent boys. The novel started off with adventure and excitement, but as it continued the pace began to slow down, even so that when something bad happened, it was no longer am excitement for the reader. A lot of readers like to be kept on the edge o ...more
Endria Tai
Feb 09, 2015 Endria Tai rated it really liked it

(I've only read until p. 128)

This book is about two boys, Omed and Hec.
Omed is a boy from Afghanistan. After making an enemy of the Taliban just like his father did, he is punished by the cruel men, his power to speak taken away. He seeks freedom in Australia.
Hector is a boy from Australia. After giving up on school, he has backed into silence and misery, in a world of his own.
Style of writing:
Because both boys in the world of silence (one physically disabled and the other
Dec 14, 2015 Aishah rated it really liked it
Both suffering from loss,
Both in need of each other.

The Ink Bridge is a beautiful book written by Neil Grant. It is a great book full of emotion and really what reality is to some people. It is based upon 2 boys and their experiences through adolescence.
Omed from Afghanistan, leaves his home full of fear for what will happen to his family and what will happen to him. He ends up as a refugee in Australia. The nook describes his troubles and struggles through the move. His trust issues, and his or
beth c
Nov 01, 2014 beth c rated it it was ok
This book was really different to my usual books. Yes, it was still YA, but a completely different aspect of YA. I doubted how much I would enjoy it to start with, but I did enjoy it. I found it confusing quite a lot of the time, which meant it took me a lot longer to read than normal. I'd give it a 2.5/5 stars.

This book was a bit too over hyped on the actual book itself, which meant I went into it with extremely high expectations, which it, unfortunately, didn't quite reach. I am glad I read it
Sharon Marchingo
May 20, 2013 Sharon Marchingo rated it it was amazing
The Ink Bridge
By Neil Grant
The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant has been shortlisted for the 2013 CBCA Children’s Book of the Year awards in the Older Reader category. It is a justifiable inclusion for this unique book that builds bridges between cultures. The book has twin stories and is told in three sections. The key players are Omed, a refugee who escapes Afghanistan and Hector and Australian boy who is in the depths of despair after the sudden death of his mother. Both are speechless, Omed, because
Jun 23, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
A slow start, a not totally satisfying ending, too many coincidences and plot developments due to luck, a few improbabilities...but it's still a thoughtful, page turning novel.

The first two pages set up the story, but they are waffly, lyrical writing, and will put off some readers. Once Omed's story starts, the pace picks up. Omed's life is in danger after a run in with the Taliban, who slice out his tongue. He has to flee Bamiyan, eventually making his way to Australia.

His path crosses with Hec
Jul 01, 2016 Heather rated it it was ok
I have read a number of very positive reviews about this book, but unfortunately it didn't do it for me. I found the plot slow and a bit disjointed and I never developed a deep understanding of the two boys. The book is divided into three parts and the only one I really enjoyed was the second part, where the two boys meet. I don't think this will have wide appeal for YA readers, although I can see English teachers being interested in this book.
Bethany Fitzpatrick
Mar 24, 2014 Bethany Fitzpatrick rated it it was amazing
A fantastic novel that combines the life of Australia and the life of Afghanistan in a beautiful story of friendship that will make anyone appreciate Australia.
Grant's knowledge of the countries, cultures and religions explored in this book are enabled to be authentic due to the research and travel he has completed.
A book that would be brilliant for young adults to study at school to really open their eyes.
Mar 12, 2012 Ernie rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult-book
This is going to be one of the best books of the year. I've read Neil Grant's two previous YA novels about surfing: "Rhino Chasers" tells of a road trip across the Nullabor then "Indo Dreaming" continues with the characters in Indonesia where Grant shows his knowledge and understanding of Asian cultures. Now he combines this cultural sensitivity and strength of character creation in new settings: Afghanistan and Melbourne. Two speechless, traumatised boys are brought together in this beautifully ...more
Apr 20, 2013 Annette rated it it was amazing
The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant. What a great read. I was totally immersed in the difficulties and heart rending stories of the two boys who are the main characters. The author's use of lyrical and beautiful language to describe the events as we journey with firstly, Omed and then Hec, through their struggles to be free, is captivating. The similes and images are original and delicate, capturing the landscape, the pain, the fear and the essence of the characters.
Omed escapes from his home in Afghan
Feb 17, 2014 Helena rated it it was amazing
I blogged about The Ink Bridge here and find it's a mesmerizing book - read it!
Kerri Jones
Jul 30, 2015 Kerri Jones rated it really liked it
One of the best of this type of book that I've read in a long time. The story is about two boys, both silent for different reasons, who meet and become friends despite all the odds. The descriptive language of Omed's story in Afghanistan is so beautifully written if it wasn't such a tragic story. Hec's story is more difficult to grasp but catches the essence of the grittiness of his situation and the bleakness he needs to overcome. When the boys meet it is their silence that brings them together ...more
Ms Tlaskal
Oct 27, 2013 Ms Tlaskal rated it liked it
I loved the first third of this as OMad journeys from Afghanistan to Australia via a people smuggler and tragic boat trip ending in a detention centre. It is classically good YAL - quality writing, thoughtful language, strong themes and imagery. Yet my expectations were not fulfilled, we never see OMad have a happy life in Australia. The novel changes point of view to HEc and a journalist back in Afghanistan and we lose the thread of OMad, the character who we have grown to love. Very strange! T ...more
Meghan Douglas
Hard-going, disjointed, with a shallow and unsatisfying ending. Grant tackles the topical issue of asylum seekers in Australia with sympathy and compassion, and this is the novel's redeeming feature. However, the glacial pace and implausible plot points undermine this. As I read it, I couldn't shake the feeling that this was the sort of novel that middle school English/ Humanities teachers inflict on year eight students, before wondering why no one in the class chooses to read for pleasure. Grea ...more
Kaitlin Dohnt
Aug 18, 2014 Kaitlin Dohnt rated it really liked it
This book had a really solid beginning, and maintained a good pace. But the end seemed to just cut off, and I was a tad disappointed with its ending.
Meg McConnell
Mar 05, 2016 Meg McConnell rated it it was ok
Dude why does the school make us read books like this
Klara Louise
Mar 01, 2016 Klara Louise rated it really liked it
Where do I begin? I did enjoy the book, lets start with that. It stated slowly and I did somehow know from the start that Omed would have to return to the Middle East.

The second part of the book with Hec was very much the classic misunderstood, smart, grieving teenager you find on books like this. It reminded me very much of 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.'

The last segment of the book was the best as Hec put the final pieces of the story together and showed us the man we knew that he was cap
Sep 17, 2014 Edacheeky rated it really liked it
dnf due to studies but it was good
May 22, 2013 Miffy rated it liked it
The stories of Omed and Hec, two young men who can't and won't speak. Omed is an Afghan trying to escape the Taliban. Hec is an Australian trying to escape his memories. The first two parts are the boys' stories up until their late teens, and the last part is Hec's journey, as an adult, to find Omed. While this is a good book, it really didn't move me the way I thought it would. Three colleagues have read it and loved it.
Jada Andersen
Aug 26, 2013 Jada Andersen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-youth-forum
What an intriguing book!
I'm not entirely sure how to feel for this book because all though the idea of two silent boys blah blah blah was great I feel like the book didn't 'take off' as much as it should of.
However, I loved the different perspective of Afghanistan which people don't usually see and I think it's important for people to be aware of its other side.
Jan 31, 2013 Marj rated it it was amazing
Beautifully lyrical story which is a joy to read.
Every so often a story touches your heart, so much so that you want to hold the book (notice I said BOOK) close to your heart. This is such a book for me.
Other than that, read Penni Russon's review.
This may be my 'Book of the Year'!
Rhondda Powling
Apr 25, 2013 Rhondda Powling rated it really liked it
Neil Grant has written a YA novel that tackles the very divisive political issue of asylum seekers whilst still delivering a story with enough action and suspense for our boys to enjoy the tale without losing poignancy.
CBCA 2013 shortlist: Older readers
Oct 01, 2013 Nina rated it really liked it
Ah. this is a very moving story, especially when the story is told from Omar's point of view. It really helps you get the idea of refugees and war zones.. good read would recommend to anyone who likes stories about refugees and their journey.
May 27, 2012 Glenda rated it liked it
A different look at the war in Afghanistan and how it effects people who are caught up in the conflict. It also gives an insight into people smuggling on a more personal level.
Universal themes of grief and suffering, but will this novel speak equally to teenagers everywhere or does the context speak loudest to Australians?
Apr 25, 2013 Nella rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Interesting story without the requisite happy ending. Shows the meanness of many Australians towards refugees.
Rachel McEleney Freebury
May 05, 2012 Rachel McEleney Freebury rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. Evocative story of two lives and their collusion course of understanding and friendship. A must read.
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