Bamboo People

Bamboo People

A Novel

eBook - 2010
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Publisher: Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, 2010
ISBN: 9781607342274
Characteristics: 1 online resource ; 272 pages.
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Aug 05, 2016

If you like reading different perspectives about war in Burma this is a good read.

Nov 27, 2015

Hi, my name is Mai, and it about my country Burma. I like this book very much, I never knew there would be other author who wrote book about Burma or Myanmar other than Adoniram and Ann Judson. You guys should check out this book Imprisoned in the Golden City, it an awesome book. It about 2 twin sister. I don't know if any of the library have this book but check it out at Amazon to see the summary if you are interested in reading this book.

m2 Apr 29, 2013

Originally published in 2010, Bamboo People, is new in paperback and just listed on the 2014 Rebecca Caudill Master List. Mitali Perkins gives us a fascinating story of two boys involved in Myanmar’s ongoing war with its ethnic minorities. Studious Chiko is tricked by the Burmese military into the army; tough Tu Reh is a Karenni refuge intent on avenging the burning of his village. Bamboo People, told from both of the boys’ perspectives, is an adventure story, a war story and a real page turner. Mitali Perkins (Rickshaw Girl) lived in Chiang Mai Thailand for three years and toured Karenni refuge camps on the Thai-Burma border, which gave her the idea for this book. Her website,, is terrific, sharing resources with kids who want to help. Strongly recommended.

AlgonquinYouthServices Apr 15, 2013

This book shines a light on a little known civil war in Myanmar. It follows the lives of two boy soldiers from very different backgrounds. Fifteen-year-old Chiko is from a family of intellectuals. His doctor father has been imprisoned by the government. Chiko goes in search of a teaching job when he is pressed into military service in the Burmese Army against his will. He is unprepared for the harsh conditions the boys are forced to endure. Chiko and his fellow boy soldiers are trained to be guerilla fighters against the Karenni rebels.

Tu Reh, a teen himself, is a member of the ethnic minority Karenni fighting the Burmese Army. Tu Reh watched the government soldiers burn his village and he is full of anger. He is on his first military mission for the resistance.

When he is sent on a suicide mission, Chiko is severely wounded and left for dead. Tu Reh finds Chiko, and then has some difficult decisions to make. Should he kill Chiko, as the elder men in his party order? Or, should he take him prisoner and find him help?

This is a story of war, friendship, and transcending differences.
~Alexa Newman, Youth Services Librarian


Splitting her book between two boys on opposite sides of a war they do not want, Perkins deftly drops us head first into a world we do not know and makes it accessible, understandable, and interesting. In a time when every other novel for kids is just a reiteration of an idea we’ve seen done a hundred ways before, here we have at least one book that knows that being important and being enjoyable are simply opposite sides of the same coin.

Feb 23, 2013

I found the book to be riveting and informational. I know very little about the ongoing conflict in Burma, and this was an interesting introduction. I would have liked a bit more character development, but it was not bad for juvenile fiction. Mitali Perkins has a knack for storytelling.

Jul 09, 2012

Bamboo People was a great read! It was nice to read a story set in a different country with a different culture, even though the premise of the Burmese civil wars is very sad, but the hope and strength of the characters make it worthwhile to enjoy and spread this book around.

Nov 28, 2011

Nice story about a country that is not familiar to many.

May 16, 2011

I am only on page 5 and I am already addicted to it. So far it is the best book I have read this year.

Apr 20, 2011

It was too short! I wanted to read more of the story! Even though we know what happens.

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Apr 10, 2015

red_zebra_657 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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Chiko’s life is spent mostly indoors, and it’s driving him insane. Ever since his father was arrested and taken by the Burmese armies the boy has been forced to hide in his home. His mother’s fear? That he’ll be snatched away and forced to serve in the army like other boys his age. But when a risk taken to apply for a teaching position leads instead to his capture, Chiko is forced into the impossible position of aiding his government as a soldier. And though he makes a clever alliance with the smart street urchin Tai, it may only be a matter of time before Chiko is destroyed utterly by his service. Meanwhile, an opposite story is playing out in a Karenni community. Tu Reh is ready to fight for his people against the Burmese oppressors, but his very commitment to his cause is put to the test when he saves a wounded Burmese soldier. That’s soldier’s name? Chiko. And suddenly two worlds come together, causing both boys to question their lives and assumptions. An author’s note and afterword give more information about Burma and what readers can do to improve the situation there.


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