Cover Image: The Orphan Keeper

The Orphan Keeper

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Member Reviews

⭐⭐⭐ -- Such a pretty cover on this one!

Let me start by saying this version of this book has been adapted for a younger audience. Which is fine, I knew that going in. However, for ME, it was lacking some depth and grit that I assume the "adult" version has. It felt like this version just skimmed the surface of the story. If that makes sense? That said, it was still a great read and if it opens up such a poignant story to younger readers  to appreciate, well that is a win all around!

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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The Orphan Collector book review

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 
Rate : 10/10 
Publisher : @shadowmountainpub 
Author : @authorcamronwright
Genre : YA & Children's Fiction

The adaptation of a best seller book : The Orphan Collector by Camron Wright.

The Orphan Collector, written by Camron Wright and published by Shadow Mountain Publishing, is a superb book that tells a story of a boy who fells apart by his family.

The story begins when Chellamuthu is having good times with his siblings and mother, father. He enjoys his time. Then he disappears in mins when his siblings stops watching him. After that, he finds himself in a orphanage, and then in the USA with another Indian name, Taj. Without remembering his past, he becomes a young adult.

I highly recommend you to read The Orphan Collector. It is a highly moving read.

Now, some informal opinions:
Oh my god! This book is super good that I even want to give 12/10 which also means 6 out 5??!! Love love loveee 🫶🫶🫶
I also tried to compare the book with its original book. They are quite similar, tbh. But there're more details in the original one. Which can make kids kinda bored. That's why I love this edition!! 🤩

(Thanks to @shadowmountainpub & @netgalley for the ARC)

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Right off the bat, my enjoyment of this book was affected by the introduction. The words "while most of my story is true, some of what's written is fiction" can really make a difference when you're reading a true story. But I have to say I can't think of a better way to do this, because saying this is truly better than claiming otherwise. This is the lived experience of someone's who went through an almost unimginable, life-changing turn, and his story should be shared. That parts of it were forgotten and had to be filled in or embellished is simply inevitable and shouldn't make me feel as if I was conned (even if I did feel that way).

What a story this is! Told both humourously and solemnly with all due respect, this story quickly catches your attention and immerses you in its waters. Camron Wright does the protagonist much justice with his masterful story-writing. I found the beginning quite fragmented and somewhat jarring, but managed to quickly get used to it. In any case, each tidbit provided insight and details that later tied together in a magnificent whole. 

This is such a wonderful book to read and I think I'll read the adult version at some point. While this is for younger readers, I think adults can enjoy it too, even if it might be pared down and injected with some morals to make it for palatable for kids and teens.
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WOW! What a story! This was fascinating because it is true and the things this man went through seem unreal. I felt this book was really descriptive and very relatable in the sense it drew the reader in and you wanted to know what was going to happen. My only complaint was there was a long period of time from when Taj is adopted into his new American home and then suddenly he is graduating high school.  We miss a lot of what happens as he is growing up and I think this is vital because there seems to be some resentment or anger towards his adoptive family that we don't understand. Overall, though great read and I was very enlightened and learned a lot about India customs and just this mans life! Good read for middle schoolers to learn there is life outside themselves!
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"Listen to the wind, feel the water. See where life's breezes wants to take you. Look, if God wants to give you a bigger oar, he will. He has plenty. There are times, however, when life is trying to blow us one way and we're paddling like crazy the other. Occasionally we just need to stop and be grateful."

The Orphan Keeper which I read is an adapted version of the original book for young readers and is hence a very condensed story. This story is of a man who is in search of his family of origin. It is also a story of a young boy who lost his family. Chellamuthu is a mischievous boy who is loved but in an unfortunate circumstance loses his family. He finds  an adopted home but there is a huge part of his heart which is missing. It is a quest of a man to find himself.

For a reader, who is unaware of Indian cultures this story might be hard to understand with all the cultural references and words used. The Orphan Keeper is a must reader for anyone who 0loves to read books where you find yourself again.

Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley.
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I have read and reviewed another book by the author quite recently. That, too, was an adapted version for younger readers. 
This story is based on real-life incidents. The book, however, does not seem to qualify as non-fiction, probably because of the lack of confirmation for specific events. A young boy is living his life in southern India when he is tricked into entering a van delivering children to 'orphanages'. These orphanages, in turn, sell the kids to people abroad who want to adopt from poorer countries. This whole twisted process might be much for children to process, but the way it is described, with a bit of help, the younger audience might be able to understand. 
Unlike another such story which was made into a film, Chellamuthu was not lost. Although his parents were hard on him, they were concerned about his well-being, and he fell into the deliberate net of people who participated in this farce frequently.
Due to strange circumstances, he was adopted by a family in the US and, over time, forgot his past. It was only at a later stage, when someone who could interpret his past for him, that new information emerged, and the entire family had a frank conversation about it all.
Unlike the other story I read in this format, I was a little dissatisfied with the lack of information in some instances. It felt a little abrupt and rushed.
I liked the story overall, and the author does cover some interesting topics. The photos and updates at the end certainly helped.
I might someday read the full unabridged version of this book to see if my opinion changes. The target audience will certainly have a lot to mull over with this tale.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my reading experience of this and another book by the author.
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I love that these books are being adapted for younger readers.  This was a well-done adaptation.  

 Chellamathu is pushing the boundaries of what he can get away with.  His mother is working full-time and is unable to monitor him.  His father is a drunk who is never around.  Living in Southern India, they are poor, but Chellamathu is mostly content with his life.  But then tragically one day he is kidnapped and sold to an orphanage a couple hours away.  There is no way for him to escape or let his family know he is alive.  When he is adopted to an American family, his name is changed to Taj and he never fully feels loved or accepted.  As an adult he returns to India to search out his roots and the reunion that follows is moving and tragic at the same time.  Such a beautiful journey of finding meaning and identity in life.

Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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The Orphan Keeper is a mostly true account of a young boy named Chellamuthu who is kidnapped from his family in India. Chellamuthu grew up in Erode, India with his family. When he was about 7, he was kidnapped and taken to an orphanage. The people there treated him well, fed him, and gave him clean clothes. But Chellamuthu knew he had a family and wanted to get back to them. He tried escaping a few times, but eventually realized he wouldn’t be able to make it on his own. He was eventually adopted by a nice family in America. They were told he was 3 and an orphan. When they realized Chellamuthu had a family, they tried getting information from the American consulate in India. Although he had a good life and his family loved him, Chellamuthu always felt he was missing something. His journey of life in America, and back to India is a powerful one. He had many setbacks and hard times, but his dream was always to go back to India and find his family. His story is nothing short of courageous, and amazing.
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Brilliant! I love Camron Wright's stories! They are brilliant and really help you think about the world and see the good!
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This is Chellamuthu's story. He might have lived a poor life in India, but he had a family that loved him. One day, that is all taken away from him when he is kidnapped from the street and adopted by a family in America. But that love between a child and their mother can never be broken. It might be lost for a little while, but it can be found again.

This was a beautiful read. While fictionalized, it is based on a real person and the events surrounding their life. I can only imagine what it was like for both Chellamuthu and his mother - both searching for one another but not knowing where to look. I loved that she never lost hope and even sought readings from astrologers and psychics to try and ease her mind if her son was alive or not.

Chellamuthu (aka Taj) was sent to America when he was approximately eight years old. It took him a long time to fit in, learn the language, and adapt to his new family. He didn't forget about his life in India right away, but slowly the images and memories faded. That is until much later in life when little things start triggering the memories. Once the memories started flooding back, it felt like he couldn't find them quickly enough. He went to great lengths to find them, and this was a time before social media, cell phones, and email was a new thing.

I enjoyed reading this book and could relate to many of the characters and the emotions they felt at different times in their lives. I especially liked Taj finding his family and how they blended his American family with his Indian family. There are even photos at the end that were fun to look at. 

This would be a good book for young readers 10 and older.

We give this book 4 paws up.
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Chellamuthu is a mischievous 7-year-old boy living a life of poverty in southern India. His world is shattered when he is kidnapped.  He is taken to an orphanage.  He finds that he isn’t able to convince them that he is not an orphan — that he has a mother.  He finds himself adopted by a couple Fred and Linda Rowland in America where he becomes an “American.”  They change his name to Taj Rowland. Taj goes to London on a study abroad program.  He meets an Indian family and discovers his culture that he has forgotten.  Taj decides that he will go to India and find his past.  Taj returns to his home in America  where he is busy with work and school and sets aside finding his past.  When Taj sees a picture of Prius (an Indian girl) falls in love, he decides to go to India to court her find his past.and his first family.  

This book is based on a true story.  It covers detail and people.  There are descriptions of Indian culture.  I enjoyed reading the life of Taj.  I found the story inspiring and fascinating.
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Kidnapped from his village in southern India, Chellamuthu is frantic to return to his family. Sold to the Lincoln Home for Homeless Children, he is eventually adopted by a family in America, always insisting that he is not homeless. Now named Taj, he is determined to return to India and find his roots and ultimately his true self. Well written.
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This book would be a great addition to any middle school library. This book is full of emotions and has just enough suspense and drama to hold your attention from the first page until the last. It's a great read that you don't want to miss.
I received a complimentary copy from Shadow Mountain Publishing via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I received a complimentary ARC of this real-life story of Tij Rowland from Netgalley, Camron Wright, and publisher Shadow Mountain.  Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read Orphan Keeper of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.  Cameron Wright is an author I will now follow.  He writes a well-written, emotionally full telling of the history of the life of this youngster, Chellamuthu Gounder, kidnapped at 8 years old from his home in India and sold to an American couple as an orphan.  Renamed Taj Rowland and loved by his new family, Taj grows into a smart, well-educated adult, hard-working, and though loving his current family, he never stops looking for his first family.  It is a trip through time and space that will warm your heart.  I am pleased to recommend The Orphan Keeper and Camron Wright to friends and family.  This is a book I think you will love.
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I read the original version of the book so thought it would be very interesting to read the story adapted for younger readers. I found the story very similar taking into consideration the simplification. The book tells the true story of a boy who is kidnapped from his family , taken to an orphanage and then adopted. It tells of financially motivated adoption. Shocking but compelling.
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Life changing true story

This story is so amazing it seems unbelievable, but it’s true! If you haven’t read it, you need to. Taj went through the unthinkable and used his experience to bless the lives of his family and others in India. 

The original version of this story is one of my favorites because it made an impact on me when I first read it and has stuck with me since. It’s the kind of book you want to share with everyone around you. I had high hopes for this new version adapted for younger readers and it lived up to my expectations. I didn’t want to put it down. It brought tears to my eyes and reminded me that miracles really do happen. It’s a reminder that sometimes when things aren’t going your way, bigger things might be in store for you. Five solid stars. Thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC to use for my review.

Content warning: Some violence, physical abuse, kidnapping.
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The Orphan Keeper by Cameron Wright
Youth Adaptation 

I will preface this by saying I have yet to read the original version so I don’t know how it compares. However, this book has been on my TBR for years so when I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of the adapted version, I jumped on it. 

The Orphan Keeper is a fictionalized story based on the real life experiences of a boy kidnapped from his family in India and then adopted by a couple in the United States. 

I wish I had read the story sooner! It is so good. It’s hard to grabble with my feelings on this one. Losing a child is a mother’s worst nightmare. What Taj experienced, horrible. And while it could have been so much worse, that doesn’t discount the awfulness of the situation. Torn from the only home you’ve ever known and taken across the globe to entirely new culture where there’s not a single person who looks like you or speaks your language, would be enough to break anyone. But this story is laced with faith and filled with hope. Truly breathtaking. 

The story felt a little disjointed at times and I still have a few questions but the writing is beautiful and the journey worth it. 

Content: poverty, theft, kidnapping, death
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The Orphan Keeper is now thankfully in Young Adult format and is a wonderful, wonderful true story about a young boy from India who was kidnapped, sold to an orphanage and then sent to America to live with his adopted parents.  The writing is gorgeous, the details are rich and emotive and the story itself is incredible!  It took my heart on a roller coaster ride and entranced me the entire time.  Not only is the kidnapping story one of terrible heartache but also of fierce determination, cultural and racial attitudes of the main character and others, what family means and the promise of hope.  Though geared for youth, I enjoyed it tremendously as an adult.

Chellamuth was born in India.  Described in detail are his parents and home life, one of poverty.  He was kidnapped at the age of eight and sold to an orphanage.  He was then sent to live with his new adoptive parents in America where his life could not be more different.  Even his name changed to Taj for ease.  Eventually as a teen and young adult living on his own in London he believed himself to be Indian in colour only.  He started having flashbacks and with the woman of his dreams was compelled to returned to India to find his family and roots.  

My favourite aspects of the story are multi-fold including learning more about India's culture, reflecting on  the horrible reality of kidnapping there, the writing style, suspense and the vivid details.  The photographs and letters are a lovely personal touch as are the author's notes of what happens after.

My sincere thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this extraordinary book, one that should be on every reader's list!
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#TheOrphanKeeper #NetGalley

I've  read the adult and young reader edition of The Orphan Keeper. The story is well written, and held my interest. The story is told by Chellamuthu, is an eight year old boy from, India.  When Chellamuthu  is kidnapped, an taken to an orphanage, he tries to tell the director  that he has a family, but he won't listen. He is adopted  in the United  States. I love that there  are so many life lessons to be learned.
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I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is well written and the characters are described well. This talks about something that happens every day kidnappings. I absolutely enjoyed Chellamuthu's character. This book is fast paced and set in India and in America. I enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. This book will be in stores on October 4th for $17.99 (USD).
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