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The Conch Bearer (Neal Porter Books) Hardcover – Oct 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; 1 edition (Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761327932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761327936
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,331,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning adult author. Born in India, she now lives in California. First published by Neil Porter in the USA, The Conch Bearer has won critical praise. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Spy Groove on 7 Mar 2005
Format: Hardcover
Reading this kinda me of Harry Potter and LOTR but with its own ethnic quality, Hindi culture. The main character tought and acted with understandable weakness and has his own strength (not a superhero though) but sometimes he got me depressed by his ignorance. Well, I sometimes get depressed by my ignorance.
What impressed me most is how fast-paced but full story it was without abandoning the feeling of its reader. I cried and smiled with Anand, Nisha and Abhaydatta and I really like the tied up ends though it is very open to be continued in the next sequence(s).
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Siavahda on 7 Mar 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a really lovely book. I'm only on chapter three and I think this is one of the best books ever written. There is some lovely discription, escpessioly when he describes the conch shell. THe conch shell is a magical shell, and it has been stolen. But they found it, and now is a long journey to return it to the crystal temple. Couldn't be better, a must read for everyone.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An Exotic Magical Adventure! 13 Aug 2005
By T. J. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Divakaruni's exotic adventure "The Conch Bearer" stands out among the many palid children fantasies out there. Her characters are fresh, vivid, and 3-dimensional, and she sucks you into the Indian setting showing you and ultimately making you appreciate their culture. Anand is not enjoying his life when the story starts. Ever since his father left for a job in America, every day that passes erodes the hope from Anand that he might come back. Money becomes short and soon Anand's mother can't afford to send him or his sister to school anymore and Anand has to go and get a job for the horrible Haru. One day, Anand is kind to a strange man, Abhaydatta, who ultimately whisks him away on a grand adventure and entrusts Anand with the task to safely return the all powerful Conch to the Silver Valley; a nirvana high in the mountains. Anand must do this all the while trying to keep the Conch from the greedy Surabhanu. This story may not sound all that original, but Divakaruni's Indian setting and vivid characters give it a fresh spin that left me clamoring for the sequel. Don't miss out on this magical adventure.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A great story 23 Mar 2006
By S. Boykins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Conch Bearer starts with a young Indian boy named Anand in the middle of what starts off as a routine day. He is a 12-year-old boy who because of his circumstances has to labor for minimal wages under a mean and nasty boss named Haru. Anand and his family are coping as best they can after having lost contact and support from his father. He can no longer afford the luxury of going to school, which was difficult for his mother as well as himself. It also pains her that her son has to work and live in such difficult circumstances, but she also appreciates the help she gets from Anand working. Anand's love for his family is great and he is more than willing to work to help. Throughout the story the book touches on some difficult aspects about life in India. Though it would be a great read for all, perhaps it best relates to students with a background in another country or who are growing up poor having to make sacrifices for the well being of the whole family. Anand even recognizes that his own fate isn't as bad as his friend Nisha who knows no family and lives on the street every night. What helps Anand through it all is his desire to help people and a belief that things will change for the better. A self-sacrificing act of kindness sets this young boy on his journey as the conch bearer. It is not an easy journey, as Anand has to struggle mostly against his own self and through feelings of jealousy and distrust in order to successfully return the conch.

I read and reviewed this book for a book competition; the aim, to encourage young readers to read more.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Classic Adventure Tale of a Magical Quest 22 Nov 2004
By Janel Rodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Characters to care about...food you can almost taste, weather you'd swear you feel...if you like Harry Potter-type stories (with magic and a boy with a destiny) and Lord of the Rings style adventure (a wise old man, a dangerous journey, the responsibility of bearing a powerful, sought after object) than you will love this tale. Author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has a way with words. Her descriptions are always rich and luscious and savory, at the same time her style also manages to keep you reading to the next chapter and the next. Be careful! You may miss your stop on the train reading her stuff! For children, this book and NEELA'S SONG are so exciting you won't want to put them down. Her work for adult readers is just as riveting and captivating.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Tough to get into, but really beautiful 10 Sep 2005
By J. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was a really beautifully written novel that reminded me of A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park mixed up with Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance. A poor young boy is asked by a powerful sorcerer to help him bring back the sacred conch to the silver valley. A sweeper girl sort of tags along much to the dismay of both of them, but does wind up being an important asset. Along the way, they must decide who to trust as the evil sorcerer who originally stole the conch tries to get it back. At the end, the boy must decide if he wants to stay and be a healer and the bearer of the conch with the monks, or return to his loving family, reunited and healed since his absence.

The descriptions of food were so vivid in this novel I actually went out to my fave Indian restaurant upon finishing it, and then bought some frozen samosas and some other Indian foods after it. It was really an enjoyable book, but I give it four stars because I just felt something was missing. The description of the culture was great, but I wonder if it would have been if I didn't know all about the food prior to reading it. The battles between good and evil should have been much more dramatic. It took me about a week to get halfway through it, and then I finally got hooked. I can't really explain what was missing, but there was a little something. Still, it was really an excellent book.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Conch Bearer 17 Mar 2006
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Conch Bearer is an imaginative, exquistely told narrative of adventure and fantasy. It is barrels of fun to read up until the last few chapters. Those chapters are not consistent with the rest of the story.

The Conch Bearer follows a poor boy named Anand who lives in a shack with his mother and mentally ill sister, Meera. Anand is laughed at by school children and has to work many hours every day just to earn a few dollars a month. Then one day, a sorcerer named Abhaydatta follows Anand home and heals Meera. Abhaydatta then invites Anand to follow him on a mystical quest to return the magical conch to the Brotherhood.

I love Anand and his family. I love Nisha, the adorable street girl who accompanies Anand and Abhaydatta to become the first Sister of the Brotherhood.

The one thing that absolutely ruins the story happens near the end when Anand forces his family to forget all about him so he can join the brotherhood without guilt. The story would have been so hopeful and good if it had not been for the conclusion.

The Conch Bearer is a good read, but the ending is not consistent with any of the story's values.
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