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Refugee pack of 4 books
A fantastic pack of Refugee-themed titles, as featured for our Refugee Week campaign in 2023.
The Day War Came by Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb
The Day War Came (for ages 4+) 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.
Questions and Answers about Refugees by Ashe de Sousa & Katie Daynes, illustrated by Oksana Drachkovska
Usborne’s Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Refugees (for ages 7+) 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.
Boy 87 by Ele Fountain
Boy 87 (for ages 9+) 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.
On The Move: Poems About Migration by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake
On The Move: Poems About Migration (for ages 9+) 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.’