Book Review: “The Island’s End”
Written by Padma Venkatraman
Putnam Juvenile, 2011
Reviewed by Neelam Shah, 19
With an older female perspective, this book was a very enchanting, compelling read. Author Padma Venkatraman includes her own experiences as a young girl seeking a spiritual adventure with her tribe. In a book that is part biography and part fantasy, Venkatraman creates a vivid world surrounded by water and coral reefs—a world where everything is different. She makes the island itself seem like a character as the seasons change.
Uido, the main character, journeys across the island with a mission to lead her tribe and family towards traditional spiritual values and away from the allures of modernization. The readers can relate to Uido as a young woman who is tied to the traditional ways. The character’s voice was strong and genuine, and it reads as a diary entry, as if she had really experienced the spiritual world by entering another world. The book explores the main themes of the powers of family, spirituality, strong will, and determination. It also focuses on female empowerment, as Uido is the only female ever to lead her tribe. The author gives great insight into the world of tribal men and the place of females within that world.
In creating this character, Venkatraman portrays a very positive role model, encouraging all young women to be strong and empowered and to keep to tradition in the face of materialism.
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