Friday, April 06, 2007

Wind Singer

This is an interesting book, with some clever ideas. It is set in a city called Aramanth where families are divided into classes depending on well the head of the household perform on an annual exam. This will determine where you live, what colour clothes you can wear, etc. there is no disagreement or dissension allowed.

The story follows Kestrel and Bowman Hath who are twins, who rebel against the emphasis on testing and eventually run away. They are challenged by the emperor to get the voice of the Wind Singer again as this will create peace and defend Aramanth.

The story centres around an interesting main idea, which is similar to that of Brave New World by Huxley, i.e. the class system, and how people are arranged and selected to be in which category, but I like the emphasis on exams and testing. I feel that younger people reading this might relate well to the ideas expressed about the stresses placed on those having to sit exams. This is an unusual book with a good deal of social commentary and looks at a society which mirrors our own in a very obvious way.

The Wind Singer - extract below from the wikipedia

"I hate school! I hate ratings! I won't reach higher! I won't strive harder! I won't make tomorrow better than today!" In the walled city of Aramanth, exams are everything -- not only for children, but for whole families. When Kestrel Hath dares to rebel, the Chief Examiner humiliates her father and sentences the family to the harshest punishment. Desperate to save them, Kestrel discovers that life in Aramanth was once different -- and if she can find the secret of the Wind Singer, maybe life can change for the better once more. So she and her twin brother, Bowman, set out on a terrifying journey -- to the true source of the evil that grips Aramanth...

First volume of The Wind on Fire trilogy

Smarties Gold Award 2000, Blue Peter Book of the Year 2001
Egmont Children’s Books 2000

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