Miles Barnett

The Conch Bearer

Aladdin paperbacks, 2003, 265 pgs.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
ISBN: 978-0-689-87242-6

Somdata, the head of the Brotherhood, a mystical group in India who worship the Conch, confirmed Anand’s powers to him, and the other members of the Brotherhood, in a meeting when he said,“Amongst all of us in the Brotherhood who have been blessed with gifts, you have a unique one.  We meditate on the Conch and draw our strength from it, but you have spoken to it.  And more importantly, it has spoken to you.”

Anand is a poor twelve-year-old boy from Kolkata, India. Although brave and able to talk to the magical Conch, Anand doubts himself. He travels with the conch to the Silver Valley, hundreds of miles away, through a mountain range and a river to the gate of this  magical place where it is always Spring.  On his journey he meets many obstacles and demons try to take the Conch from him.

This is a story about a boy making some very hard choices and personal decisions.  Anand does all this to protect the Conch and bring it back to its rightful place in the Silver Valley. Until he gets this challenge to take the Conch to its home with the Brotherhood, he does not feel like he has a purpose in Kolkata.

The Conch Bearer is a very emotional, vivid and exciting book.  I recommend it to anyone who wants to read about an amazing journey of courage and adventure.

By Miles Barnett, 8th grader
Richmond, VA


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