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The Conch Bearer

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Longman

Published : 2005

Copyright : Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 2003

ISBN-10 : HB 1-4058-1648-1
ISBN-13 : HB 978-1-4058-1648-9

Publisher's Write-Up

Anand wants his life to change. He was a happy 12-year old before he was forced to go and work on the streets of his home in India. His chance comes, the day he meets a strange and ragged old beggar. Who is he? What does he want?

The old man needs help returning a stolen possession of immeasurable value, and he reveals a tiny, beautiful shell. But this is no ordinary conch, it has a potent power of its own and must be taken to a place of safety many hundreds of miles away. Anand and the old man set out and are soon joined by Nisha, a headstrong but resourceful, young sweeper girl.

Together they travel across burning plains and turbulent rivers to reach the mountainous Silver Valley. A journey made even more dangerous by evil spirits and fantastical creatures; sent by a thief who can feel the force of the conch, and who is never far behind them.

About the Author:
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning adult author. Born in India, she now lives in California. First published by Neil Porter in the USA, The Conch Bearer has won critical praise.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Harry Zoltaire Craig (310511) Rating (8/10)

Review by Harry Zoltaire Craig
Rating 8/10
Here is a YA novel from a few years back. I love books that take me to places. In the case of The Conch Bearer, it is India. It’s a modern day fairy tale and adventure story about a twelve-year-old boy named Anand, a believer in magic and living a destitute life with his mother and ill sister in the city of Kolkata.

One day, an old healer, attracted by Anand's faith in magic, shows up at his doorstep and entrusts him with a powerful magic conch shell. In exchange for curing Anand's ill sister, Anand must undertake a dangerous journey to the Himalayas to return the conch shell to its rightful owners, the Brotherhood of Healers. In every turn, he is shadowed by a powerful and ruthless villain who wants to possess the conch shell to increase his magical powers.

The story takes readers from the grimy streets of Kolkata to the majestic mountains of the Himalayas, replete with roaring rivers that turn into something dangerous and alive. The narrative is beautiful and simple, the story fast-paced and told in a thriller-type fashion so that the reader knows exactly what sort of dangers Anand and his girl partner are getting themselves into.
Harry Zoltaire Craig (31st May 2011)

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