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Torn Apart: The Partition of India

Book Synopsis

A thrilling and moving account of the largest movement of people in history, telling both sides of the story through the voices of children at the heart of Partition. It’s October 1947 and two young boys find themselves thrown together during the dramatic changes of Partition.

As the new India and Pakistan are born, can the friendship between these two children rise above the tensions between the two countries?

When the British announced they would be leaving India, a feeling of hope bubbled up in towns and villages across the country – they would be free to rule themselves at last!

But deciding to split the country in two – Partition – would soon mean so much more.

A gripping first-hand account with an engaging and direct narrative voice, making the story accessible to a young readership.

Our Review Panel says...

It is October 1947 and the British Raj have just left India as an independent country: the country is splitting into two states; Pakistan and India. This split is not only geographical but the start of a divide of religions and therefore the country’s people – the start of the Partition of India.

This story follows two young boys, Ibrahim (a wealthy Muslim) and Amar (a Hindu street child). Ibrahim is split from his family after they are violently attacked as they try and flee Delhi to the safety of Pakistan. Delhi is no longer the safe place he grew up: he soon begs for the help of Amar to help him to the Pakistan border with the promise of money – something Amar has never had. They start their journey and learn more about each other and soon their new friendship is tested to the highest level and they must trust each other if they want to survive.

The Partition of India is something that I did not know a lot about and after reading this story I feel that I know so much more. The story, although fictional, utilises factual information and is set around real places and events. The use of the two boys gives the reader an opportunity to hear the events told from both sides, using the voices of children at the heart of Partition. Some of the scenes are reflective of the violent nature of the real-life events, making the book most suitable for readers in Year 6 and beyond.

The book also contains an Author’s note with a short summary of the history of this time which ends the story allowing the reader to reflect upon what they have read. There is also a timeline outlining the history which could be used as a helpful teaching aid. The story uses Urdu and Hindi language and there is a page at the front to explain these terms.

This book is available on these booklists:

Torn Apart: Teacher Notes

A resource pack provided by the publisher to accompany the book Torn Apart: The Partition of India.

Torn Apart: The Partition of India

torn apart the partition of india

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