Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan – Book Review

Category: Books and Music

smallactsIn Small Acts of Amazing Courage, Gloria Whelan explores the themes of freedom, loss and change in really beautiful ways.


The story starts in India in the 1950s. Rosalind has never even visited the far away “home” called England. She loves India – the culture, the people, and the language.


But when her father returns from the war, he is dismayed to find that Rosalind has practically become an Indian with no respect for her English Heritage. Rosalind’s father sees her ‘small acts of amazing courage’ as insubordination and sends her off to Britain, despite her mother’s protests. England is rife with new struggles including her two aunts and the death of a brother she barely knew but feels she ought to mourn.


An interesting thing about the setting of the book that people who know about history is that this book occurs during Ghandi’s revolutionary protesting. The idea of doing what you feel is most important through nonviolence keeps pushing the novel’s plots in very unpredictable ways. The way people deal with this approach is unique to everybody and flavors the novel.


I felt like this book was slightly anticlimactic. So much attention was being given to the depth of the text that none was given towards varying levels of writing tone. There was very little action, just reaction to events already happening. Maybe this was the author’s way of agreeing with Ghandi that the best way to protest is peacefully. In having no climax, perhaps she wanted us to think more about the little struggles Rosalind wins and loses, which is more comparable to life. In that, I think the book was a success.


About the Author

Becka Olsen is a 15-year old student and a book lover to the max. She loves Regency Romances and anything by J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull as well as Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and other classic authors. Becka brings a unique perspective for our young adult readers as well as parents looking to find a book for their children.