Book Review: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

life_of_pi_coverThis book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.

Hope. Trust. Faith. Courage. Remarkable. Inspiring. Amazing. The heart-warming book, Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, reveals how close the bond between humans and animals is and how they can be commonly mistaken to be uncontrollable beasts. Yann Martel has won the Man Booker Prize and has sold over seven million copies. His work has been read across the world! Many people state that animals have no emotion and cannot control their feelings. However, Mr. Martel beautifully describes how this is untrue. This novel also shows how strong the connection between man and God can be.  Although our main character, Pi, is unable to see Him, he must still believe and never give up hope. This truly inspiring book is something you will not be able to put down.

An Indian boy named Piscine Patel, also know as Pi, lives with his family in India who own a zoo. Pi is involved in multiple religions and worships the gods whenever he can. He has always been engaged with the animals’ behaviors and feelings, while all his father sees are dangerous, untrustworthy beasts. Pi mentions how, “we commonly say in trade, that the most dangerous animal in a zoo is Man” (29) . He continuously tries to prove that animals are innocent and that it is not their fault if they injure somebody.

Now he and his family has make a decision to travel to Canada, but when their ship, the Tsimtsum, crashes, he is left on a lifeboat by himself with a group of untamed animals. Pi now has to figure out how he will survive with a 450-pound Bengal tiger, an orangutan, a zebra, and a hyena. “There was nothing. Only rain, marauding waves of black ocean and flotsam of tragedy” (107). For countless days, Pi continues to pray to God and keeps telling himself never to lose hope. But can man prevail against a huge Bengal tiger?

I was very pleased while reading this book. It felt as if I were really on the boat next to Pi and all of the animals. Yann Martel uses very emotional and descriptive words, adjectives, and figures of speech. He did a wonderful job illustrating a picture in my mind. This fantastic book taught me how powerful the connection between humans and our Lord can be.

Life of Pi is a great novel that has changed my view on how animals feel and how they can be loving and caring. This book also strengthened my understanding and belief in God. Life of Pi is an excellent example of classic literature and I would definitely recommend it!

-Kaitlin K., 7th grade

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