Saturday, April 15, 2017
out, written by Angela May George and illustrated by Owen Swan. Scholastic Canada, 2017. $14.99
It's the way people stare.
I'm called an asylum
seeker, but that's not my
I've seen horrible things,
and they've shown me
what it is to be brave.
Brave is waiting and
believing in your heart
that everything will be okay."
We are blessed that authors and publishers see the need today for books that share the plight of refugees, and that we have the opportunity to share them with our children. Once again, seeing the world through a window into someone else's life is sure to make us think more clearly about their circumstance.
The young girl, who is our narrator, and her mother have just arrived in a new and unfamiliar place. So much has happened to them as they fled the war that is ravaging their home and homeland. Travelling by boat is dangerous, but safety and a new home drive them to take the risk. Their songs and stories give them peace as they make that journey.
Although they are now in a safe place, their struggles continue. Memories of past terror often leave them scared and speechless. Their family is not together; Dad was left behind and may still be in the refugee camp. The music of the dance is unfamiliar and reminds the child that she has left so much behind to make a new life. New friends make it easier, and help is given when needed.
A special surprise makes everything much better for the whole family!
The watercolor and pencil illustrations add a sense of warmth, especially with the addition of color as the story progresses. The child and mother are the center of attention throughout, with backgrounds fading in importance to their personal plight. It is perfect for sharing with young readers, and will surely help them understand what is becoming a more and more prevalent issue in many communities.