The Day of the Pelican

by Katherine Paterson
Published by Brilliance
Young Adult

AudioFile Earphones Award

Tavia Gilbert gives an expert reading of Katherine Paterson’s moving account of a family of Albanian Muslims during the Kosovo War. As the Serbs begin their brutal ethnic cleansing, Meli Lleshi and her family flee their home, enduring Serbian atrocities and the terror of being hunted like animals. They face the ravages of hunger and cold, and the fear of separation, as they make their way toward Macedonia and their inevitable relocation to a refugee camp. Gilbert’s performance brings genuine pathos to the family’s plight without resorting to melodrama. When they immigrate to America, Gilbert makes their struggles with language and culture poignant, and after the 9/11 attacks, she makes the prejudice they face utterly realistic. Paterson’s brief historical endnote will assist young listeners’ understanding. AudioFile Magazine