Homeless Bird

Homeless Bird is a book about a 13 year old named Koly, who lives in India.  Koly has a happy family but there is little food for them.  Koly’s mother can’t feed any more mouths. On her wedding day Koly’s marriage is sealed and her life will never be the same.  Koly wants to flee but she is caught up in tradition so she can’t.  Later Koly’s husband dies in the sacred city of Varanasi.  Then Koly’s fate tumbles downhill, and she gets cast out and is forced to face the cruel world on her own.  Her mother in law, Sass abandoned Koly and she says “I suppose a part of me knew all along. The thought had been waiting like a scorpion at the edge of my mind. Now it stung me.”  When Sass leaves her, Koly does not fit in and try’s to find someone like her.  She also can’t find shelter, food or water and she only has a couple of rupees and has to use them wisely.


Koly has to adapt to her soundings by making right decisions, and cannot trust anyone. When she was waiting outside of the train station a man comes up , grabs her arm, and says  “What is a pretty girl like you doing out here on the street?” Koly quickly huddles in the corner and Koly decides that she can’t trust anyone. As time goes on Koly gets more familiar with her surroundings. Then Koly becomes friends  with a rickshaw boy named Raji and he guides her to a widows’ home. It helps Koly get in touch with her real self ,because she has lost her courage on the streets. When she gets out of her widow sari she says “I once saw a snake shed its skin now I know how it feels to get out of the old things and in with the new.” After she gets dressed the mother of the home says “Here you are not a widow but a young woman with a life in front of you.” This has a great impact on Koly because she can start over and have a great new life.   Koly gets a new job as a marigold stringer and then gets a job as a skilled quilt maker.   Koly is very grateful for the jobs. Koly gets married to Raji and they move to his farm ,Koly can finally calm down and start over.


This book is a touching story that has many important themes. One of the themes in the book is courage and bravery. Koly has to have bravery to leave her family and live with people that she hasn’t met before. Koly also has to be brave when she gets abandoned in the city of Vrindavan, and has to live on her own without a job and a little bit of money that she will spend fast.  Also, Koly shows courage when Sass leaves her in Vrindavan and she looks for Sass and when she figured out she had left. Koly waits at the train stop every day hoping that she will come back.  Another theme in  Homeless Bird is tradition. Koly shows tradition when she arrives at the Mehta’s house by wearing a traditional sari and kissing the Mehta’s feet.  Another way Koly shows tradition is when she presents her dowry to the Mehta family.  Another theme in the book is perseverance because Koly always pushes through even though  times seems impossible and hopeless.  One way Koly shows perseverance is by not letting things get to her like when Hari died she didn’t believe them and would always believe he was alive.  Koly also shows perseverance when Raji would not come  back but Koly waits for him every day in the court yard. This book has valuable lessons in it and the themes are what make the book so important.


The book Homeless Bird is written by Gloria Whelan,  she  make the book come alive.  She made the book come alive by using descriptive words and comparisons. One of the comparisons is when Chandra is getting married and the man that she is marrying has a mustache.  Koly says, “ The mustache is like a rats tail.”  When Koly says this she is comparing Chandra’s soon to be husbands mustache to a rats tail.  Another comparison in the book is when Koly says” I feel like a chained animal in a cage.”  Koly is comparing herself to a bird in a cage because she can’t escape Sass and she feels like she is in a cage because she doesn’t have freedom like the captive birds.  Another one of Koly’s comparisons is when she meets a dog and when it leaves it grabs a gosling.  She compares it to when she was at the train station and the strange man walks up to her and grabs her.  She says “ He had a tight grip on me like the dog holding the gosling and he wouldn’t let go.”  Koly is comparing herself and the man to something that has happened in her life. One of my favorite comparisons is from the Togo’s Poem’s . The poem is called Homeless Bird it say “ The flock of Birds are going to the south. But the Homeless Bird is all alone and not following the rest.” I like this because it means don’t be afraid to be yourself being different isn’t bad.  Gloria Whelan did a great job on the book Homeless Bird.  It has heart touching moments, tragic moments, and romance.  Homeless Bird is one of the most descriptive books I have ever read.