The Orphan Keeper ~ Review

The Orphan Keeper
Adapted for Young Readers 
By Camron Wright

Chellamuthu had a family but, like many left to their own devices, was getting himself into the wrong crowd. This unfortunate troublemaking group of boys leads to Chellamuthu being stolen off the streets of his village in India. When Chellamuthu is bartered off to a home for orphans, he tries to get those in charge to realize that he has a family and needs to get home. 

But Chellamuthu is a commodity who is about to be sent to a family wanting a child. But not to a family in India but one far away in America. Years pass, and Chellamuthu becomes a blending of his old and new life with a new identity and a new family. But can he truly leave behind who he was?

The Orphan Keeper is a moving story about a little boy, lost, who searched and found what he was looking for. Was he better for the trials and losses he experienced? Or were the lost years something that would forever mark him, keeping him from truly ever being part of either world that he knew? This book is based on the true events of Chellamuthu's (Taj's) life. There are definite moments of heartbreak as a family is torn apart, and yet there are moments of triumph, as well, as Chellamuthu becomes Taj and his story comes full circle.

This book is adapted for younger readers and recommended for those 8 years and older. When it is time for book reports that are supposed to be biographies or from another culture, keep this book in mind as it fits both well. This book doesn't come across as dry or boring, in my opinion. It is well written and well-detailed without getting stuck in the detailing. I highly recommend it to readers, whether they be 8 years old or 88 years. 

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion, all thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Seven-year-old Chellamuthu’s life—and his destiny—is forever changed when he is kidnapped from his village in Southern India and sold to the Lincoln Home for Homeless Children. His family is desperate to find him, and Chellamuthu anxiously tells the Indian orphanage he is not an orphan, that he has a mother who loves him. But he is told not to worry as he will soon be adopted by a loving family in America.

Chellamuthu is suddenly surrounded by a foreign land and a foreign language. He can’t tell people that he already has a family and becomes consumed by a single, impossible question: How do I get home? But after more than a decade, home becomes a much more complicated idea as the Indian boy eventually sheds his past and receives a new name: Taj Khyber Rowland.

It isn’t until Taj meets an Indian family who helps him rediscover his culture and family history that he begins to discover the truth he has all but forgotten. Taj is determined to return to India and begin the quest to find his birth family. But is it too late? Is it possible that his birth mother is still looking for him? And which family does he belong to now?

The Orphan Keeper is a deeply moving and gripping journey about discovering one’s self and the unbreakable family bonds that connect us forever.

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~ Blooming with Books