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The Conch Bearer
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

How would your life be different if you lived in India, your father had disappeared, and you were forced to work for a cruel master to be able to make only enough money to be able to live in a hovel? Would you give up a day's food to feed a poor raggedy old man? If that man asked you to leave home to do a valiant, yet dangerous task, would you go? Would you be able to recognize evil even as it is disguised as good? Would you stand strong against the darkness of evil? Would you be willing to protect a mystical conch shell as you carried it to its rightful home of many miles away?

In this incredible fantasy, 12-year-old Anand said he would try. Accompanied by a headstrong, yet clever street girl and an old wiseman named Abhaydatta, Anand embarks on the heroic journey. Will he overcome attacks by the evil evil Surabhanu and deadly obstacles in his path, only to face the final test?

Get your flashlight! You'll want to read this one under your covers all night!

Research Links for The Conch Bearer

Maps of India

Kolkata (formerly, Calcutta)

Embassy of India in the USA
Tsunami relief, leaders, modern issues

Currency/Coins of India
paise, rupee

Hinduism and Christianity from a Christian Point of View

Five in a Row Vocabulary Game, a Light in the Darkness bonus page!

Alu Dum--Recipe



Ganesha's Statue


Literary Connections:

4 to 40: Showing all Stories
Stories about Children of India

The Gateway to India
Children's stories

Kids Wings 5-Star Rating:

(Symbolizing high moral character in children's literature)

"And I think it possible that by confining your child to blameless stories of child life in which nothing alarming ever happens, you would fail to banish the terrors, and would succeed in banishing all that can ennoble them or make them endurable. For, in the fairy tales, side by side with the terrible figures, we find the immemorial comforters and protectors, the radiant ones; and the terrible figures are not merely terrible, but sublime." C. S. Lewis

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Special thanks for background music: What We Leave Behind
Original Symphonic Composition by Edgar Girtain


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