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Music on the Bamboo Radio

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Nicholas Highgate, separated from his parents during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, is smuggled to the mainland by his Chinese nurse and disguised as a Chinese boy. As he grows to manhood, he witnesses the atrocities and deprivations of the Japanese occupation and is himself drawn into the Communist resistance activities. The book ends when the Japanese surrender and Nicholas Highgate, separated from his parents during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, is smuggled to the mainland by his Chinese nurse and disguised as a Chinese boy. As he grows to manhood, he witnesses the atrocities and deprivations of the Japanese occupation and is himself drawn into the Communist resistance activities. The book ends when the Japanese surrender and Nicholas is reunited with what remains of his family.


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Nicholas Highgate, separated from his parents during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, is smuggled to the mainland by his Chinese nurse and disguised as a Chinese boy. As he grows to manhood, he witnesses the atrocities and deprivations of the Japanese occupation and is himself drawn into the Communist resistance activities. The book ends when the Japanese surrender and Nicholas Highgate, separated from his parents during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, is smuggled to the mainland by his Chinese nurse and disguised as a Chinese boy. As he grows to manhood, he witnesses the atrocities and deprivations of the Japanese occupation and is himself drawn into the Communist resistance activities. The book ends when the Japanese surrender and Nicholas is reunited with what remains of his family.

30 review for Music on the Bamboo Radio

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shona Mihan

    It is interesting to see how Nicholas went from being an ordonary english boy to a chinese boy

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    This book was good. I liked it because the author gave a great description of how war was like then. This book gave great depth of detail and accompanied me for my essay. Even though, some parts are boring, there were a lot of metaphors and symbolism. When Tang gets slapped, his face turns but his body doesn't fully move. This shows that he strong and confident and also quick witted. I enjoyed reading this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin L

    The book was drawing me in making me want to read more.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Max Wong

    It's cool. I like war. Go Japs.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    Very mediocre book. Twisted logic, bad grammar. Strictly for people with little to no knowledge of English. I do NOT RECOMMEND to anyone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Leung

    This book was quite good to introduce the British-Japanese war through the eyes of a young boy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yeri Choi

    This book was very hard to get, because it wasn't published any more.I had to read it in an e-book, and this was the first e-book I've ever read. This book is about a boy around my age called Nicholas, He is an England who is living in hong kong,and related to chinese sevants who used to work for his parents. When he was apart from his parent, he had to leave his house with the servants. He believes them and decides to follow them before he get to meet with his families again. He changes his loo This book was very hard to get, because it wasn't published any more.I had to read it in an e-book, and this was the first e-book I've ever read. This book is about a boy around my age called Nicholas, He is an England who is living in hong kong,and related to chinese sevants who used to work for his parents. When he was apart from his parent, he had to leave his house with the servants. He believes them and decides to follow them before he get to meet with his families again. He changes his look in to a chinese, and get to stay in their home. He started to do some chores like getting ocean waters and fishing, he did them well. He was setteling well in the new enviornment, and he was polite. He cared about Tang(One of the servants who saved his life) when he caught a malaria, and acted brave to get that medicine for him to stay alive. Like episodes being in the Chinese family's ancestor's grave, he could learn about other cultures. He was smart enought to give generals help by reading english manual of the explosion's bow and explain it all to them. Also, Nicholas joined to help them in the war. After the war endes, he gets to go back to hi home. And sadly, almost everything were totally distroyed. He met his mother at the end, and did not notice that she was his mother because 4 years had passed, but at last reconises her. Maybe it was because I read many other books in the time of the world war, I could understand the background well,and feel nicholas's feelings. I thought I'm such a lucky girl, to live in a lovely centery and with my wonderful fantastic family members who loves me. I am going to kiss my parents and my sister on the cheek today, telling them I love them always.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    When i read this book, it was pretty hard for me. But i like this story especially the main character "Nicholas or Wing Ming." ths main character, Nicholas had lost his parents during World War II. This story contained a lot of emotion. It's sad, sick, quite scary and poor. When Nicholas seperated with his parents, he left with his parents' chinese servant. After that time, he decided to become a chinese person. So he did everything that he can do. He was a brave man. He get a medicine for his s When i read this book, it was pretty hard for me. But i like this story especially the main character "Nicholas or Wing Ming." ths main character, Nicholas had lost his parents during World War II. This story contained a lot of emotion. It's sad, sick, quite scary and poor. When Nicholas seperated with his parents, he left with his parents' chinese servant. After that time, he decided to become a chinese person. So he did everything that he can do. He was a brave man. He get a medicine for his servant Tang when he caught a disease. Despite of losing parents, he is very brave and confident. And he helped a lot of people too. I want to follow his character. At the first, I cannot understand this story because i was not close with World War story. But last of story, I was intersted of this book. End of this story, he met his mother but he didn't notice that woman was his mom. The reason why is it was already 4 years passed, but he recognized her soon. From the perspective of Nicholas, maybe he was very sad and seems to be sick. I think he is very nice person and I realized that I should be good to my parents and my brother. And I should be a good person.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Seo

    "Music on the Bamboo Radio" is about Nicholas Holford, an English boy who's forced to escape his British colonial home in Hong Kong with three Chinese servants after the Japanese invaded in 1941. We see how he has to escape capture by pretending to be Chinese and learning the language and customs in a fishing village. Descriptions are great: we see how Japanese uniforms, cities damaged by war, and Chinese holidays looked in WW2. I liked seeing Nicholas mature as the book progresses. Nicholas get "Music on the Bamboo Radio" is about Nicholas Holford, an English boy who's forced to escape his British colonial home in Hong Kong with three Chinese servants after the Japanese invaded in 1941. We see how he has to escape capture by pretending to be Chinese and learning the language and customs in a fishing village. Descriptions are great: we see how Japanese uniforms, cities damaged by war, and Chinese holidays looked in WW2. I liked seeing Nicholas mature as the book progresses. Nicholas gets braver as he gets older, such as when he risks his life to save Tang's life after he gets malaria, and when he gets medicine to British POWs by sneaking into a prison camp. I think readers interested in WW2 adventures will like it best.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Reina Shin

    This book is about a british boy maturing through out World War II. The boy's name is Nicholas Holford( Wing Ming). He lived in Hong Kong with his parents, however since the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, he had to escape as well. Ah Kwan(the gardener), Tang(servant), Ah Mee (Tang's wife & a servant) helps Nicholas to escape from Hong Kong. When he escapes to Tang's Parent's house, he helps their chores and works. I was impressed of him because he adjusts well to new environment. I think his positi This book is about a british boy maturing through out World War II. The boy's name is Nicholas Holford( Wing Ming). He lived in Hong Kong with his parents, however since the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, he had to escape as well. Ah Kwan(the gardener), Tang(servant), Ah Mee (Tang's wife & a servant) helps Nicholas to escape from Hong Kong. When he escapes to Tang's Parent's house, he helps their chores and works. I was impressed of him because he adjusts well to new environment. I think his positive attitude made him able to adapt well. In this book, he plays a role as a risk taker, communicator. After the war, he meets his mother and I was able to see that everybody were exhausted and stressed of the war. I recommend to readers who are interested in Chinese history.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tanja

    I read this story in one go, couldn't put it down - do I have to say more? It narrates the story of Nicholas Holford who as a boy lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II in the care of his family's Chinese servants. A breath-taking, touching and thought-provoking account of bravery and of how difficult times can bring out the best - and unfortunately also the worst in human beings. I highly recommend this book to everyone living in (or interested in) Hong Kong sinc I read this story in one go, couldn't put it down - do I have to say more? It narrates the story of Nicholas Holford who as a boy lived through the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II in the care of his family's Chinese servants. A breath-taking, touching and thought-provoking account of bravery and of how difficult times can bring out the best - and unfortunately also the worst in human beings. I highly recommend this book to everyone living in (or interested in) Hong Kong since it gives you an interesting glimpse into this amazing city's past. Be prepared for some big surprises!

  12. 4 out of 5

    schoiy

    Nicholas Holford is a main character of this book, and he's English boy who lived in Honk Kong with his parents and Chinese servants. I saw his life in China without his parents and he becomes mature. This book makes me feel sad, and make me curious. In this book, as a main character, he shows some attitudes related to a thinker and risk taker. I was touched when Nicholas and his mom met again in their house. Through this book, l learned more about World War 2 and l think it’s such a great book. Nicholas Holford is a main character of this book, and he's English boy who lived in Honk Kong with his parents and Chinese servants. I saw his life in China without his parents and he becomes mature. This book makes me feel sad, and make me curious. In this book, as a main character, he shows some attitudes related to a thinker and risk taker. I was touched when Nicholas and his mom met again in their house. Through this book, l learned more about World War 2 and l think it’s such a great book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    So Hyeon

    Music on the Bamboo is about the boy Nicholas escaping to his servant from Chinese. This book has interesting story development and I think this story has tensions too. My best scene was Nicholas doing a special mission, going into the camp and deliver a secret message. I love the author's way of writing the books and I was really nervous like a real character in the book when Japanese soldiers come into Tang's house and check things. I really recommend this book if you like an adventure stories Music on the Bamboo is about the boy Nicholas escaping to his servant from Chinese. This book has interesting story development and I think this story has tensions too. My best scene was Nicholas doing a special mission, going into the camp and deliver a secret message. I love the author's way of writing the books and I was really nervous like a real character in the book when Japanese soldiers come into Tang's house and check things. I really recommend this book if you like an adventure stories, and I would like to read it again next time!

  14. 5 out of 5

    The Styling Librarian

    Music on the Bamboo Radio by Martin Booth – I took this book home this long weekend and was pleasantly surprised to get so involved in the book that I couldn’t stop reading it. It has been a while since I enjoyed reading a historical fiction book. It additionally was fascinating to follow the WWII story setting in Hong Kong. Living here is interesting in the first place but also it is an interesting glimpse into the past.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kate Kang

    Kate Kang Wing Ming, as known as Nicholas is such a brave boy and an awesome boy. He is really confident, brave and also believing in himself. I cannot but think of him how he was brave that much to do lots of scary jobs. He helped a lot of people when they were really sick in prisons. I thought someone will cought him but actually not!!! I liked when the war ended. This story was very touching story at the end and I think I became than ever before..........I love this book!xxx

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dayoon

    This book is an impressing book. My school recommended this book, and I think it's a great story. It was very touching, and thrilling for me. For me, I think I can't risk my life and go though such great adventure like Nicholas (Wing-ming). Through this book, I could learn more specific about World War ll. It was really touching at the last point when Nicholas said to his mother 'Watch out for the floor, Mum, some of the boards are missing.'

  17. 4 out of 5

    naraebee

    Wing-Ming, or Nicholas, is such a brave boy. He survived in the War and live without his mother or his father. I thought he could get caught one day, but he didn't! He even talked to Japanese and got away! I also I liked the part when England won the war because the war ended. I don't like war! So, I LOVE Music on the Bamboo Radio.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    To my opinion, I think that Music on the bamboo Radio is pretty, sad, because of the WAR and how everyone suffered. The reason I gave this book 3 stars was because I think the author told the story really well, how Nicholas changed during the war without his parents.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    Martin Booth spent much of his childhood growing up on Hong Kong just after the war and it shows through the authenticity of the writing. Good story too and I would recommend it to anyone not just children.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Monica6472

    This book is very interesting.It's about the Nicholas's life during the World War 2.It explained the situation detailed.So I learned some specific knowledge about what happend during the World War 2.I like this book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella

    I read this book for the first time when I was younger, it has stayed with me ever since. When I found it again I was reminded of the death, horror, sacrifice and bravery seen in war. I would love to recommend everyone reads it at least once.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This book is really good. You can actually feel it happening as you read on

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I enjoyed reading this book, as I found it interesting of the story to talk in the perspective of an English boy being in HK at the time of WW2

  24. 4 out of 5

    Arantxa

    I thought that this was Ok because it wasn't exactly the genre I'm used to reading. It would be terrible to go through what Nicholas was going through, and scary.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Huang Huang

    This book is good, it is also about WWII in Hong Kong

  26. 4 out of 5

    Martin Groves

    main characters name is supposed to be nicholas holford. And book is very interesting because you can't predict what is going to happen next so it gives you a sensation to read on.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Konrad Chan

    The book is good, the story is good. I think it needs some more action, like killing and shooting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelvin

    The title does not have that much to do with the whole book, just one part. Pretty realistic story At least decent storyline The grammar errors are probably deliberate

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jayrice

    This was a impressive book about Hong Kong!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcus

    I think this book is a really liked it, it has all the facts but also really sad. I like this book a lot and it has lots of exciting parts :D

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