From the acclaimed author of Climbing the Stairs comes a fascinating story set on a remote island untouched by time. Uido is ecstatic about becoming her tribe's spiritual leader, but her new position brings her older brother's jealousy and her best friend's mistrust. And looming above these troubles are the recent visits of strangers from the mainland who have little regard for nature or the spirits, and tempt the tribe members with gifts, making them curious about modern life. When Uido's little brother falls deathly ill, she must cross the ocean and seek their help. Having now seen so many new things, will Uido have the strength to believe in herself and the old ways? And will her people trust her to lead them to safety when a catastrophic tsunami threatens? Uido must overcome everyone's doubts, including her own, if she is to keep her people safe and preserve the spirituality that has defined them.
Drawing on firsthand experience from her travels to the Andaman Islands, Padma Venkatraman was inspired to write this story after meeting natives who survived the 2004 tsunami and have been able to preserve their unique way of life. Uido's transformation from a young girl to tribal leader will touch both your heart and mind.
Padma Venkatraman lives in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. An oceanographer by training, she is the author of twenty books for young readers, published in India, on a variety of subjects. To learn more, about her book Climbing the Stairs, visit the web site, www.climbingthestairsbook.com. You can also read her blog, padmasbooks.blogspot.com.
Island's End 4 out of 5based on
SusieBookworm on LibraryThing
5 months ago
While I was in the process of reading Island's End, I wasn't really that thrilled by it. The plot moved so fast, I wished the author had added more details about the events that occur to help further flesh out both the characters and the overall feel of the culture. I didn't find the story particularly exciting, though it was interesting enough to keep from being boring. Some of the messages Venkatraman tries to get across, while good, came across as very blatant at times when more subtlety would have been nice.But if you're like me, looking at reading Island's End for its anthropological information instead of thrilling action or magnificent writing, forget all of the above criticisms. After all, how often do you find YA novels that are about actual ancient cultures that have survived into the present day? While the novel's main anthropological details are on Uido's tribe's shamanic practices, other aspects of their culture are described as well, as is the clash of old and modern lifeways. What also struck me as unique and awesome is that the author treats Uido's shamanic training and visions not as part of the fantasy genre but as a part of her everyday life. Uido occupies a special place in her culture for what she sees and can do, but this well-respected place has always been occupied by someone with similar abilities. In this way, Venkatraman accents the differences between cultures in the treatment of what we Western culture people consider the supernatural. She helps readers become more respectful of others' lifeways by showing them a new perspective on such a subject.The cultural detail in Island's End is enough to outweigh any other criticisms of the novel. Honestly, if you ask me in a few weeks or months, I probably won't remember most of the things I complained about in the first paragraph of this review. I hope other readers will end up getting as much out of this book as I did.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing
5 months ago
Uido has a vision of the strangers before they appear: magic men with boats that fly and strange sticks that cause fire. But Uido knows that these magic men could destroy the life she holds dear, the ways of the En-ge, people who have inhabited these islands for thousands of years. As an apprentice to the oko-jumu, spiritual leader of her tribe, she will have to figure out a way to protect her people, even as their magic entices more and more. There's a good deal of adventure and I enjoyed learning about the ways of these island people (the En-ge are based on actual indigenous people who have lived on remote islands, shunning modern ways). Descriptions of island life are lush, including smells, sounds, and tastes. But I never felt truly connected with the main character. There's some distance there, even though the book's written in first person present.I'd hand it to kids who enjoyed Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell (for a strong female native islander protagonist) or Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver (for the mix of action and spiritual/mystical components) or maybe even Nation by Terry Pratcher (for the island setting, although Nation is aimed at a slightly older audience).
More than 1 year ago
This book is really good and worth the money. I recom
More than 1 year ago
Fantastic story. About a tribe of people who live on an island in modern days and are unfamiliar with modern ways. It's the coming of age story of thier newest healer/spirit leader. Great read for all ages. Very beautifully written.
More than 1 year ago
This book is sooooo good short but good so take ur time reading it
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