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The Ink Bridge

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  25 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 Ink Bridge by Neil GrantThe Wrong Boy by Suzy ZailHerman and Rosie by Gus GordonSea Hearts by Margo LanaganThe Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett
CBCA 2013 Short List
1st out of 29 books — 11 voters
The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne SeierstadThree Cups of Tea by Greg MortensonKabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez
Afghanistan in Literature
83rd out of 146 books — 161 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 259)
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Penni Russon
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...more
Sue
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
Scarlett Budden
'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
Sharon Marchingo
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...more
Michelle
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...more
Bethany Fitzpatrick
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.
Ernie
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
Annette
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...more
Helena
I blogged about The Ink Bridge here and find it's a mesmerizing book - read it!
Kerri Jones
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
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-Dowling
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
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.
Klara Louise
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...more
Edacheeky
dnf due to studies but it was good
Miffy
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
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.
Marj
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
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
Nina
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.
Glenda
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.
Linda
Universal themes of grief and suffering, but will this novel speak equally to teenagers everywhere or does the context speak loudest to Australians?
Nella
Interesting story without the requisite happy ending. Shows the meanness of many Australians towards refugees.
Rachel McEleney Freebury
Wonderful book. Evocative story of two lives and their collusion course of understanding and friendship. A must read.
Kymmw
First part of the book, brilliant- second part not so sure
Sanchaita Misra
Sanchaita Misra marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2014
Dani Nguyen
Dani Nguyen is currently reading it
Aug 25, 2014
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