Diamonds in the Shadow
you won't want to put this one down until you finish
December 5, 2012
I think this is an excellent book for teens and adults alike. There is enough intrigue to keep you on the edge of your seat plus it makes you aware of the suffering that the civil wars in Africa have reached. Very well written.
May 25, 2012
When the apartment that the Amabo family was to stay in falls through - Jared is forced to share his bedroom with Mutto - their teenage son. He is not very happy about this -not happy at all. Mopsy, Jared's younger sister, is overjoyed at the fact that their teenage daughter Alake will be bunking with her.The Amabo family are refugees from Africa. They have received passage to the states and are being sponsered by Jared's church. They will help to give them training and find jobs - but there is trouble from the start. The biggest being that the fifth refugee on the plane doesn't like not being in control. Then Andre Amabo, the father, has had his hands chopped off during the war in Africa - one at the wrist, the other at the elbow. Alake doesn't speak - and doesn't appear to hear either. She has to be prodded to even eat. And what is up with Mattu and the two cardboard boxes that contain the ashes of his grandparents?Jarod doesn't believe in the same God that his parents do, and that the Amabo's seem to also. He feels praying is a waste of time. But while the Amabo's are staying with them, his reality begins to change. He finds that doing things for other people really isn't that much trouble. He discovers that his younger sister isn't so annoying, but has great insight and can even be trusted. And he discovers what secrets the ashes of Mattu's grandparents contain. What he does with that information will decide the fate of both families - but will he make the right choice?This would be a great book for middle schoolers and maybe early high school. It is well written, but seems a little simplistic for older than that. I would not recommend it for younger thatn middle school because of some of the violence that it describes.People are not who or what you expect in this book - and that helped to make it a quite a page turner. I was able to read it in just two sittings.
March 18, 2009
"Diamonds in the Shadow" is a fantastic YA book from Caroline Cooney that is full of many great elements.First off it has a wonderful storyline with an American family taking in a refugee family from Africa and trying to help them assimilate to life here.Secondly, great characters. The American family with Jared (who does NOT want the family to live with them), Mopsy (who DOES want the family to live with them), the dad (who is having issues at work), the mom (who is loving having a new family to nurture) and then the African family - mom, dad, brother, sister (who is mute and usually unresponsive). Except this new family seems a little odd to Jared, what is the deal?Next, the mystery element... can Jared figure out what is going on with this new family before it is too late? Are they endangering his family? Are they who they say they are? Who is the other African that got off the same plane they did? Why is he looking for them?I really enjoyed following Jared and Mopsy as they try to piece everything together. And the conclusion was fantastic and had me turning pages very quickly to see how everything would be resolved. While I thought it was a very good YA book that I will be letting my daughter read because it is appropriate for her, I also thought most adults would like this book as well because it doesn't really read like a typical YA book. Excellent book!
March 18, 2009