Books that help children understand migrant and refugee experiences
From an article by The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE)
The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education has published a book list focused on migrant and refugee experiences.
This looks a great resource to help get children (your own and at church), focusing on identity, belonging, conflict, migrant and refugee experiences - helping them make sense of the world around us and our place in it.
Here are some examples (with links to Waterstones):
Beegu by Alexis Deacon
A small creature from outer space lands on Earth accidentally. She finds the Earth creatures unfeeling and unfriendly, until she finds a box of unwanted puppies, and then a school playground full of small creatures who ‘seemed hopeful’. Empathy is evoked by both the brief text and the distinctive illustrations.
A Child’s Garden by Michael Foreman
This picture book conveys a strong message in a simply told tale. A boy finds a green shoot in a war ravaged landscape. He nurtures the vine it becomes until it spreads along the barbed wire fence which separates one part of his land from another. Soldiers try to destroy it but ‘Roots are deep and seeds spread’, and eventually the boy’s vine sprouts new growth and intertwines with a plant tended by a girl on the other side of the fence.
Frog and the Stranger by Max Velthuijs
When Rat sets up home in their community, Frog is the only one prepared to get to know this ‘stranger’. Pig and Duck both have prejudices and groundless fears about newcomers in their midst. Eventually they learn that everyone can make a contribution to society wherever they come from.
Refuge by Anne Booth & Sam Usher
A donkey tells the story of how, led by a man, he carried a woman to Bethlehem where their baby was born and visited by shepherds and kings. A dream of danger sends them on their way until they reach another country where they find refuge. The people in this family are not named, enabling readers to find even more resonance between this simply and touchingly told version of the Christmas story and what is happening to many refugees in the world today.
The Journey by Francesca Sanna
Francesca Sanna has drawn on the experiences of recent refugees from many countries. Text and images have great power to move readers of all ages. Each spread features the variety of landscapes, real and emotional, through which a family passes, escaping conflict and seeking sanctuary. The book ends on a hopeful note but makes it clear that most refugees live with continued uncertainty, even when they hope they have reached a place of safety.
In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda
In this award winning novel, Fabio Geda has given voice to Enaiatollah Akbari, a resilient refugee he met in Italy where the young man claimed political asylum and settled after a journey of many years from Afghanistan, begun when he was ten years old. He endured many difficulties living and working and surviving in Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Greece, at times being turned back and having to set out anew before reaching Italy.
There are many more in the list which can be downloaded here.
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From an article by The Centre for Literacy in Prim, 15/02/2017