Refugee Week Revealed (19 – 25th June 2023)

NEW: Teaching activities now ready to download!

🌱 What is #SpreadHope23? 🌱

For the second year, VIP Reading and O’s Refugee Aid Team (ORAT) are collaborating to bring Refugee Week 2023 to life. We believe our hashtag ‘Spread Hope 23’ recognises the difficulties faced by refuges in the world today. Inspiring children to engage with this theme is key. Our aim is to inspire new discussions, new questions, new insight into the plight of refugees from all walks of life, through a love of reading.

O’s Refugee Aid Team (ORAT) has been delivering emergency aid convoys to refugee aid frontline teams across northern France since 2015.

Launched and headed by VIP Reading patron and award-winning author, Onjali Raúf, the team work to raise awareness, funds and crucial supplies for partnered organisations aiding refugees in flight across northern France, Greece and beyond, whilst lobbying governments against the dismantling of humanitarian laws.

From tents to sleeping bags, shoes to fresh foods, medical supplies to toys, ORAT works in close partnership with the Mobile Refugee Support, Refugee Women’s Centre, Play Project and Refugee Biryani and Bananas (of Greece and Poland) teams, to strengthen and unite aid efforts on the ground, with the aid of its own Director of French Operations, Caroline Cottet.

VIP Reading is proud to have supported ORAT in its works of the past, and to dedicate a portion of all profits from our Refugee Week 2022 sales to enabling refugees from all walks of life access the help, relief and aid they so desperately need.

🌟 What does the Spread Hope 23 event involve? 🌟

To celebrate this important week, we have:

– 5 incredible authors
– Stunning book boxes
– Author videos
– Whole School Assembly PPT
– FREE Educational resources KS1/2/3

🌟 Did someone say Michael Rosen? 🌟

That’s right! This year’s lineup includes:

– Michael Rosen
– Ele Fountain
– Nicola Davies
– Ashe de Sousa & Katie Daynes

🌟 Does it cost to take part? 🌟

It is completely FREE to participate and access the assembly, educational resources and author videos. The only cost is if a school wishes to buy a book box.

🌟 Why buy a book box? 🌟

For just £16.95 (inc. postage) you get a limited edition box packed full with two books and educational resources designed to engage pupils and raise awareness of the refugee crisis. You also get lots of extras goodies from our fantastic sponsors.

🌟 What’s in the Refugee Week VIP book boxes? 🌟

🌱 4+ box contains The Day War Came (picture book by Nicola Davies)

The Day War Came is a heart-breaking yet heart-warming story of devastation, loss, hope and empathy. It is a simple text following an ordinary girl, enjoying an ordinary life with her family; going to school on an ordinary day. However, after an ordinary morning drawing pictures and learning about volcanoes, her world changes completely and utterly; for after lunch, the war came. Upon losing everything, she and her family travel to what she hopes will be safety, only to find that people are not so welcoming, even at a local school. Until a new friend offers a branch of hope and friendship.

🌱 7+ box contains Questions and Answers about Refugees (lift-the-flap book by Ashe de Sousa & Katie Daynes)

Usborne’s Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Refugees is an incredibly engaging book that helps support pupils’ understanding of refugees. With guidance from the Refugee Council, this book covers a wide range of topics, from the process of becoming a refugee to what it’s like to live in a new home. The unique lift-the-flap element instantly draws children in and captures their interest. What sets this book apart is that it was written by speaking to refugees, providing a valuable perspective on the topic. Furthermore, the illustrator of the book, Oksana Drachkovska, is herself a Ukrainian refugee, and her stunning illustrations contribute significantly to creating a deeply empathetic learning experience.

🌱 9+ box contains Boy 87 (book by Ele Fountain)

Boy 87 is a compelling, emotive and profound read and the perfect text to illuminate and expose the realities of life as a refugee. Written in the first person, Boy 87 is set in an unnamed country and in it we join Shif and his best friend Bini – just two ordinary boys – who have dreams, hopes and ambition. Suddenly their world implodes when they attract the unwanted and terrifying attention of the military “giffa”. The boys are wrenched from their loving families and taken to a remote desert prison, where hope is the thread that makes life bearable for the inmates. A plan is hatched – the boys must escape at all costs to ensure that the stories of these captured and wronged men are told. This is tale of peril, of hope, of the power of kindness and the strength of the human spirit and is a testament to the pen ship of Ele Fountain. Tremendous storytelling and a must 5 star read.

🌱 Each box comes with the bonus book ‘On The Move: Poems About Migration’ by Michael Rosen

“On The Move: Poems About Migration” is a book that has been skilfully written and compiled by Michael Rosen. Using his own personal experiences and insightful observations of the struggles of refugees, the book is divided into four sections. The first section details Michael’s early experiences of being brought up in a Jewish family with origins mostly in Poland. The second and third sections explores the impact of the Second World War on Michael’s family. The final section is Michael’s observations of the wider world. Despite being aimed at an older audience, the book includes some poems that could be carefully shared with younger readers, such as “On the Move Again”, which features delightful rhymes like “take the train, catch a plane, make a trip, on a ship”. One of the most moving poems in the book is “Dear Oscar and Rachel”, which recounts their proximity to freedom during the Second World War and the potential alternate life they could have had. Michael’s personal family history intertwines powerfully with his outlook on the refugee crisis, making it impossible to not be moved by his words. Perhaps if more of us shared in Michael’s perspective, the world would already be a better place. As Michael eloquently puts it in his opening, “…Home shouldn’t be decided by country borders. Home is where you find it.’

You will also receive:

– Two exclusive letters from the authors (one includes Michael Rosen!) 
– Two exclusive 7×5” prints (artwork) of the authors artwork created by our illustrator, Rachel Sanson
– Bespoke educational activities created by the VIP team
– WRD Magazine
– Bookmarks, postcards and other goodies…

🌟 Can we order more than one box? 🌟

Yes, you can order multiple boxes. You will also receive a discount when ordering all three boxes at once. Please note, these boxes are limited-edition and only 250 are available.

🌟 What about book box subscribers? 🌟

Book box subscribers will automatically get a box based on the age range they are subscribed to. If you wish to receive a different age box or add to your delivery, email:

Please let us know of any changes to your choice of book box by Wednesday 7th June.

Buy a limited edition VIP book box before Thursday 15th June to receive one in time for Refugee Week, which begins on Monday 19th June. Only 250 available.