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I know this book is probably for like middle schoolers but I loved it Koly s parents marry her off without seeing the groom and she ends up married to a sick boy whose parents needed the dowry money for his treatment It all works out as well as you d expect but eventually she rebuilds her life I honestly felt so upset for Koly and the way she was treated through out the book I loved the writing and the narrative and the details the author added only pulled me in to the storyI can not believe that if people love their daughters though that they have to pay people to take them like how does that make any sense I don t think there s anything wrong with raging feminists but I m usually not one but this whole book made me feel like one because why do women get treated that way honestly It s just upsetting but the book is excellent. a simple short book with a story which will stay in my mind for long, loved this book to the very end it works as a story of human persistence but very little about Indian Culture very motivating and satisfying wish this book was bit longer.rating 4.5 I stitched the marketplace stalls heaped with turmeric and cinnamon and cumin and mustard I embroidered vegetable stalls with purple eggplants and green melons Gloria Whelan Homeless Bird Immediately I knew that it would be the homeless bird, flying at last to it s home Gloria Whelan Homeless BirdMy review This book won the National Book award I can see why.Koly s story will Resonate with anyone of any age so though this may be classified as young adults or children, I would urge anybody of any age to read the book especially people who loves Historical fiction and in particular Indian fiction.This is one of those books that I m reluctant to talk about You can read the description but this book is really all about the writing which is a tapestry of words and reads like one long poem More then just vivid, the writing brings to life the Indian Culture, customs, birds and scenery in an utterly resplendent way that is rare to see The prose glows.Koly s journey is a fascinating one and she is easy to care about I loved to see how her talent for embroidery was woven into the story It is an incredibly moving story and one that I feel Will Uplift the reader I do love historical fiction but this book in particular made an impression on me It is short and and it s pretty easy to read I think this is a definite five star read and was utterly enamoring And I look forward to readingfrom the author. Gloria Whelan s Homeless Bird is a pleasant enough story Predictable and pleasant It is a fast read and Koly is a likable protagonist.But shortly after beginning the book I stopped to research the author As I suspected after my first few pages of reading, Whelan herself is neither Indian or of Indian ancestry and has never traveled to India I believe that it IS possible for writers to write successfully outside of their own experiences, but I am EXTREMELY wary of authors who attempt to write of places, cultures, social classes, and experiences that are not their own, nor even similar To do so requires incredible amounts of research, intense self reflection, a willingness to consult and learn from others who areknowledgeable, and an intentional effort to present a truthful, unbiased reflection of reality even in the writing of fiction In fiction like Homeless Bird, the setting is taken as truth by an audience, in this case most likely American children, who may not have the knowledge or experience to spot cultural misrepresentations As a white woman living in the woods of northern Michigan who has never traveled to India, it is possible that Whelan could write a truthful reflection of India culture and customs But, I have a gut feeling telling me to be concerned Whelan s own words, from her website, don t bring me any comfort She says, Sometimes I write about places that are far away or about earlier times This gives me a chance to live in other countries and in other times at least in my head The research for these books is like a treasure hunt, I never know what I m going to find I ve made imaginary trips to China, India, and Vietnam As a reader, I want to know that these imaginary adventures into the exotic are supported by hard researched, intensely fact checked effort I am unconvinced.I lived and worked in India for a portion of this year and I worked with children Koly s age coming from villages and families like Koly s India is a big place and a vast array of experiences coexist within India culture and customs Arranged marriages, dowries, and child brides still exist as does sati ceremonial widow burning which Whelan seems to deny as something of the past no longer practiced pg 34 35 Similarly, urban life does include Indians dressed in jeans and t shirts, air conditioning, and opportunistic men and women who exist everywhere in most cultures To me, reading Koly s story felt like a Western voice telling an Eastern story It did not feel like an Indian voice, born and raised in Indian culture, telling her own story in her own voice.And that is big problem because Homeless Bird is a National Book Award winner, which means it is frequently used in classrooms, likely as diversity enhancement And to read of Indian culture in an inauthentic voice is dangerous and disrespectful There is so much wonderful literature written by Indian writers, and I am nervous what half truths and misperceptions might be taken away from a reading of this book by young people, particularly if their teacher is not him or herself aware of the potential pitfalls of including a text like this in the curriculum without intense critical reflection and the addition of other primary sources.Overall, I enjoyed the story, but it threw up red flags for me about the authentic representation of Indian life and culture. So there I was in an English Department meeting and Tasche says, You really should ve read this book, since it was on the incoming Freshmen s Summer Reading list I sat there dumbfounded, not realizing it was on their reading list nor that I had actually read it three or four years ago It s not that it s a nondescript book, quite the opposite, but you know how it is sometimes when you ve zipped through so many short short good reads and you forget one because apowerful novel by Rabindranath Tagore or Arundhati Roy s God of Small Things can somehow dwarf this colorfully powerful YA piece by Whelan.Well, Needless to say I zipped through it again last night and was 20 pages into it when it all came flashing back to me, like a scene from Total Recall.Anyway, Whelan s short novel is chock full of heritage, local color and plenty things to immerse young readers in that most colorful India It truly is the kind of novel that makes you want to getup and GO there So emotional and touching This book has been a pageturner The book is full of death, love, hope, and the cruelness of the world. .FREE EBOOK ☩ Homeless Bird ☲ Like Many Girls Her Age In The India Of Her Time Period, Thirteen Year Old Koly Is Getting Married Full Of Hope And Courage, She Leaves Home Forever But Koly S Story Takes A Terrible Turn When In The Wake Of The Ceremony, She Discovers She S Been Horribly Misled About Exactly What She Is Marrying Into Her Future, It Would Seem, Is Lost Yet This Rare Young Woman, Bewildered And Brave, Sets Out To Forge Her Own Exceptional Future This is such an inspiring story of finding home I could not put it down until I finished it I ve met Gloria Whelan, who lives in MI, and she s a wonderful lady It s fascinating that she can weave such seamless tales of different places and cultures using her own research and imagination I was amazed to learn what happens to widows in parts of India, left to starve, homeless and often penniless It s shameless and cruel But the real heart of the story is in the innocent and somewhat na ve but endearing main character Koly as she discovers herself and decides what she wants for her life I believe she s a kindred spirit with her love of reading poetry and making art. Koly is forced into an arranged marriage, with a cruel mother in law, a sickly husband, and a spoiled yet sweet sister in law She learns to read, and yearns to flee But one day, she is no longer a homeless bird. This YA story of an arranged marriage between a girl 13 and a rickety family that only wants her dowry so they can take the almost dead groom to Varanasi to be saved by Mama Ganges Didn t work and she s stuck in this horrible situation waiting on the evil mother in law hand and foot, without even the thought of consummation to remember oh, yeah she s 13, that s a blessing This well written story varies significantly from the usual they married me off to an evil old abusive gay perverted philandering yada yada man and now i m stuck No, this story tells a different tale Widows are de facto bad luck and thus like any other unusable category of women ok to abuse, discard, steal from At least sati throwing the widow on the funeral pyre is illegal This young, bright, talented virginal even girl, has no intrinsic value in her societyEverywhere, women without their own resources, and or a complete education, are abused God bless the child whose got her own.