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Island's End by Padma Venkatraman

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Have you ever felt torn between family and duty? Padma Venkatraman’s Island’s End is a phenomenal approach at teaching young adults the importance of respect towards other cultures and the decision of family vs. “country”.  The story highlights several different aspects of the culture and religion of natives living on a highly isolated island.  Venkatraman was able to sensitively enlighten readers about the culture of a people not typically represented by today’s mainstream YA writers.  In the coming of age tale, the reader is able to watch a native girl’s transition into adulthood, and witness the difficult choice she must make between responsibility to her family and responsibility to her people.  The beauty of Venkatraman’s Island’s end is that it takes into account both sides of the very difficult situation and does not value one side over the other, rather, it highlights the benefits of both cultures and communities presented.  Any young reader would benefit from exposure to the reality that interaction between previously isolated native peoples and traveling white mainlanders provides.




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