|Island at the end of everything|
Author: Hargrave, Kiran Millwood
When the Philippine government takes over Culion, an island for people with leprosy, Ami is put in an orphanage on another island, where she finds a friend willing to help her return before her mother dies.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 194158
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 73239
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2018 *Starred Review* Hargrave transports readers to the Philippines’ Culion Island, 1906, in her poetic and affecting historical novel. This picturesque spit of land once housed a leper colony, and it is there that 12-year-old Amihan’s story unfolds. Though raised on Culion by her naynay (mother), who is “touched” with leprosy, Ami is perfectly healthy, due to their extreme mindfulness and sanitation practices. She attends a school run by nuns with the island’s other children, but all that changes when Mr. Zamora arrives to enact a government order to eradicate the disease through segregation: “‘We will make history of lepers,’ he says, ‘and a museum of this island.’” Cruel and prejudiced, he divides the island into Sano and Leproso zones, and takes all healthy children to the Coron Orphanage on a neighboring island. Ami’s heart is broken when she is ripped away from her mother, but she makes her first friend, Mari, at the orphanage, and together they plot a way to return to Culion. Hargrave tells an incredible story of compassion, love, and daring in this book’s pages, and her lyrical writing glides with the grace of a butterfly. An author’s note gives the real history of Culion’s leper colony and speaks to the complexity of human nature, further enriching Ami’s unforgettable story. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2018 Gr 4–7—Amihan was born on the island of Culion in the Philippines, but most of the islands' residents were brought there after contracting leprosy. Ami's Nanay (mother) was sent there shortly after her diagnosis—she discovered she was pregnant upon arrival. Ami and her mother live a peaceful life for 12 years until the arrival of Mr. Zambora, a government official sent to remove all uninfected children. Ami and other uninfected children are sent to an orphanage on another island. When Ami learns her Nanay has taken a turn for the worse, she's desperate to get back and solicits the help of friend Mari. Ami's resilient voice is distinct and her story unique for a middle grade audience. Her first-person account of the inhuman and cruel treatment of those with leprosy is eye-opening. The novel is peppered with a handful of words in Tagalog, further pulling readers into Ami's world. Lushly described settings serve as a stark contrast to the harsh set of circumstances that she and the Culion children face. The novel is abundant with opportunities for classroom use; themes of empathy and resilience can be explored, as can the history of Culion, which was created as a leper colony in 1906. VERDICT This touching middle grade novel will attract a wide range of readers.—Juliet Morefield, Belmont Library, Portland, OR - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.