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Homeless Bird

Homeless Bird

by Gloria Whelan

"Leaving Home...forever. "

Like many girls her age in India, thirteen-year-old Koly is getting married. When she discovers that the husband her parents have chosen for her is sickly boy with wicked parents, Koly wishes she could flee. According to tradition, though, she has no choice. On her wedding day, Koly's fate is sealed.

What Koly never dreams of is that she will be a widow in that very same year. When her sickly husband dies, Koly is left without any rights, sentenced to a life of hunger, loneliness, and servitude to her cruel mother-in-law.

Just as Koly begins to accept the hardships of her existence, her life once again takes a devastating turn. Young Koly is stranded in a city of unwanted widows who must wander the streets for hours begging for food. On the edge of starvation, Koly finds the strength and courage she needs to survive. Blending together the ancient traditions of her village life and a newfound independence, Koly learns to live for herself and pour her feelings into the beautiful art of embroidery. And a life, like a beautiful tapestry, comes together for Koly — one stitch at a time.

Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL) and 2000 National Book Award Winner

11, 12, 13, 14
Interest Level
Grades 6 - 9
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading
HarperCollins Publishers
Number of Pages
Realistic Fiction

About the Author

Gloria Whelan

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