The Day of the Pelican
The Day of the Pelican
The Day of the Pelican
Katherine Paterson
2013 Laura Ingalls Wilder AwardMeli Lleshi is positive that her drawing of her teacher with his pelican nose started it all. The Lleshis are Albanians living in Kosovo, a country trying to fight off Serbian oppressors, and suddenly they are homeless refugees. Old and young alike, they find their courage tested by hunger, illness, the long, arduous journey, and danger on every side. Then, unexpectedly, they are brought to America by a church group and begin a new life in a small Vermont town. The events of 9/11 bring more challenges for this Muslim family--but this country is their home now and there can be no turning back.A compassionate, powerful novel by a master storyteller.

Book Details


  • Fiction
  • Juvenile Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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Meli Leshli lives in Kosovo with her Baba, Mamma, and siblings. Her life is going well; she has a best friend in school, a soft bed to sleep in, and does well in school. Kosovo is under attack from the Serbians, but all the fighting seems so far away from Meli and her family. Suddenly, Meli's easy life isn't so great anymore. Her family must band together to go on a difficult journey to escape the Serbians. Meli and her family face many hardships and are soon living in a camp with other refugees.

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