BAYA Librarian's Reviews > Broken Moon

Broken Moon by Kim Antieau
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Jan 30, 09

bookshelves: realistic, middle-eastern
Read in March, 2008

* In this short, but powerful novel of contemporary Pakistan, Nadira writes to her younger brother Umar telling the sad story of their family's downfall. An older brother was accused of rape, and Nadira was the victim of the family's revenge, scarring her face and body; after her father died, the family was dependent on cruel Uncle Rubel. When Umar is missing, Nadira is determined to find him. She learns that small boys are often kidnapped or sold to be taken to the Gulf States to be used (and often abused) as camel jockeys. Having no success, she makes the dangerous decision to disguise herself as a boy so she can be taken to the camel camps and search for Umar. The descriptions of life in the camps are horrific, but Nadira, as Ali Akbar, forms the boys with her into a team to protect them against older boys. The hopeful ending is perhaps unrealistic, but satisfying within the context of the story. An author's note detailing some facts about these child camel jockey's would have been a welcome addition. This joins titles such as "Sold" by Patricia McCormick; "Fattening Hut" by Pat Lowery Collins; and "Homeless Bird" by Gloria Whelan about young women struggling to survive despite the obstacles placed by a traditional culture.
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