The Solemn Lantern Maker

“The Solemn Lantern Maker” by Merlinda Bobis (Philippines)

Favourite Quote

Foolish men. Not for a moment do they think of their wives who will be widows or their mothers who will be childless, but about country and integrity, the bigger picture. Always the home is too small. The heroic resides somewhere else. If not the streets, the halls of government, or a war.

Would they have loved them less if they were not heroes? No. They would have loved them longer.


It’s six days until Christmas, and on the bustling streets of Manila a mute ten-year-old boy sells his version of the stars: exquisite lanterns handmade with colorful paper. But everything changes for young Noland when he witnesses an American tourist injured in a drive-by shooting of a journalist and imagines he’s seen an angel falling from the sky. When Noland whisks her to the safety of the hut he shares with his mother, the magical and the real collide: shimmering lanterns and poverty, Christmas carols and loss, dreams of friendship and the global war on terror. While the story of the missing tourist grips the media, Noland and his mother care for their wounded guest, and a dark memory returns… Read more

Nicola’s Creative Reading Group reading list 

Year 7 – “Asia & the Pacific” (Oct 2013 – Jun 2014)

“The Patience Stone” by Atiq Rahimi (Afghanistan)
“Burnt Shadows” by Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan)
“Narcopolis” by Jeet Thayil (India)
“A Golden Age” by Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh)
“Reef” by Romesh Gunesekera (Sri Lanka)
“The Solemn Lantern Maker” by Merlinda Bobis (Philippines)
“The Secret River” by Kate Grenville (Australia)
“Once Were Warriors” by Alan Duff (New Zealand)
“Frangipani” by Célestine Hitiura Vaite (Tahiti)

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