“Inspired by the true story of the Haxhiu family of Kosovo, who were sponsored by her church in Barre VT, Paterson tells what happened to the Albanian Kosovars who were driven from their homeland by the Serbians, lived in a mountain camp, were burned out of their family farm, fled at gunpoint to a refugee camp in Maedonia, and from there emigrated to the United States. Kind, gentle Baba tries to keep his family safe and together, trying to keep his angry and rebellious thirteen year old son from the KLA influences. Eleven year old Meli helps her mother with her younger brothers and baby sister. Her worry, angst and hopes are our window into the heartbeat of this family driven from their home and all they know.”Sherry A wrote this review Wednesday, July 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“My sixth grade teacher told me it is really good!!!”Madelyn Joslin wrote this review Monday, July 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Few fiction books talk about the War in Kosovo, so it is good to have this handy. Recommended for high school and up. It is only when Meli, the young Albanian girl, and her family move to America that this book gets interesting and relevant to the young audiences that its meant to draw. ”Glacier Point Middle School Library wrote this review Tuesday, May 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The genre of the book I read was historical fiction. Historical novels tell stories that are set in the past, that are real and drawn from actual events. It is told from the point of view of a fictional character living during the time period in which the story is being told. The book I read was The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson. The story’s narrator is 12 year old Meli, the lead character, as she relives the story of how her family’s home is now America. As they were forced to escape from Kosovo in the late 1990’s, as being a Muslim there was not safe.
The story opens with the Lkeshis’s, a fictional family of Albanians, living in Kosovo. Meli’s parents are trying hard to protect all their children from the increasing violence breaking out between the Albanians and Serbs. One day at school Meli drew an offensive picture of her teacher. When she got home her brother Mehmet had not returned from school, as he had been picked up by the Serbs, kept prisoner, beaten and left for dead. Meli convinces herself that it is her fault for everything that happens to their family, as it was a result from her drawing. The family is forced to abandon their home because of the persecution from the Serbian government. Unable to return home, they become homeless in a refugee camp. Meli describes in detail her experiences there. Finally, Meli’s family is sponsored by a church and immigrates to America. Meli continues her story of being only 12 and having to adjust to a new life and culture. When 9/11 occurs Meli is once again faced with a form of racism. Will being a Muslim in current American times be any safer than Kosovo?
I loved the book. I was surprised, because I usually don't like historical fiction. I liked the book because every sentence had a hook, making me want to read more. I would recommend this book to readers over 12 years, whether a boy or girl. The author’s use of descriptive wording made me actually envision I was there, experiencing the scene in my head and feeling the characters emotions. Because of the choice of wording, I think it is too descriptive and serious for younger readers, and too emotional for them to handle. I felt a connection to the character, and if you read it, you might too.
“Very good (if short) story of a Kosovar family fleeing Kosovo during the Serbian war.”Judith R wrote this review Tuesday, May 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The great Katherine Paterson!”Vicki P. wrote this review Wednesday, January 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Patterson takes a close look at the recent conflict in Kosovo between the Serbians and the Albanians. The conflict is seen through the eyes of Meli, a young girl who craves for life to return to normal. Her family is greatly impacted by the conflict. Her brother is taken prisoner and beaten nearly to death. Her family must abandon their house and business and flee into hiding in the woods. A description of their time in a refugee camp is also included. Finally the family is moved to America and although they are safe life is certainly not any easier as they figure out this strange new place.”Black Belt Reader wrote this review Monday, October 3, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“it was an ok book”Christa k wrote this review Monday, October 3, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have had this book on the shelf for a long time and finally decided to read it. The main reason I bought it is because I love the author. Jacob Have I Loved, another of her novels, is one of my favorites.
This story tells of the strife in Kosovo and the tragedies innocent families face in times of war. ”