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The Conch Bearer

The Conch Bearer

For Ages: 8 - 12
  • reading group guide
  • 2awards
In a dingy shack in the less-than-desirable Indian neighborhood he calls home, twelve-year-old Anand is entrusted with a conch shell that possesses mystical powers. His task is to return the shell to its rightful home many hundreds of miles away. Accompanying him are Nisha, a headstrong but resourceful child of the streets, and a mysterious man of indeterminate age and surprising resources named Abadhyatta. His quest will take him farther from home than he's ever been and will teach him more than he ever imagined -- and it will force him to make a poignant decision that will change him forever.
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  • Aladdin | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689872426 | 
  • March 2005 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
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Reading Group Guide

An Aladdin Guide for Reading Groups
The Conch Bearer
By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
ABOUT THE BOOK
The story of The Conch Bearer begins on the teeming streets of modern-day Kolkata, India, where twelve-year-old Anand lives in a dingy shack with his mother and sister, Meera. Anand is captivated by stories of magic and the opportunities he believes it could create -- if only magic was a reality. However, everything begins to change when Anand meets Abadhyatta, a mysterious man who turns out to be a member of the magical Brotherhood of Healers. Abadhyatta recognizes something special in the boy and entrusts him with a conch shell that possesses mystical powers. Anand's task is to return the shell to its rightful home with the Brotherhood many hundreds of miles away -- across arid plains and turbulent rivers, past powerful spirits and fantastical creatures, and finally into the secret Silver Valley, high in the Himalayas. Accompanying them is Nisha, a headstrong but resourceful child of the streets. What follows is a series of quests and battles against the dark and powerful forces of evil-minded Surabhanu, who was exiled from the Brotherhood years before. Though Anand experiences doubt, fear, and sadness throughout his journey, his unrelenting desire to achieve his mission is stronger than the evil he is confronted with. Anand's quest will take him farther from home than he has ever been and will teach him more than he has ev see more

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About the Author

Chitra  Banerjee Divakaruni
Photograph by Murthy Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the award-winning author of many books, including The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, and One Amazing Thing. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New York Times. Born in India, she currently lives in Texas and teaches in the nationally ranked Creative Writing program at the University of Houston.

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