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The Prisoner of Bhopal

"Moving, original and thought-provoking"

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

Set in the Indian city of Bhopal in 1984, the date of the deadly leak at the Union Carbide plant, Tim Walker’s story is about much more than that terrible catastrophe. Equally important to the story are the experiences of the main character, ten-year-old Amil’s great-grandfather, an Indian soldier gassed in the trenches of the First World War. Readers come to understand too something of the caste system, the lives of the poor in India and of its young women.

Amil is cruelly separated from his parents on his birthday and, as reparation for perceived family debt, sent to work for Mr Kumar, the owner of a printing company, failing due to his laziness and poor management. Locked in the printing shed every night, Amil discovers his great-grandfather’s journal and from it learns how to interpret the wind. Can he use this near-magical new ability to save his friends and neighbours as the poisonous cloud pours out of the factory?

The story is gripping, the different storylines skilfully woven together, the pictures painted of Amil and his friend, Kumar’s daughter Chunni, particularly vivid and moving. It will prompt questions and give young readers new insight into past events and other lives.

Andrea Reece

Star Books

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