© 2017 The Literacy Classroom 

Refugees

My Name is Not Refugee
by Kate Milner 

A young boy discusses the journey he is about to make with his mother. They will leave their town, she explains, and it will be sad but also a little bit exciting. They will have to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, and that will be difficult. They will have to walk and walk and walk, and although they will see many new and interesting things, it will be difficult at times too. A powerful and moving exploration that draws the young reader into each stage of the journey, inviting the chance to imagine the decisions he or she would make.

The Unforgotten Coat
by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Two refugee brothers from Mongolia are determined to fit in with their Liverpool schoolmates, but bring so much of Mongolia to Bootle that their new friend and guide, Julie, is hard-pressed to know truth from fantasy as she recollects a wonderful friendship that was abruptly ended when Chingis and his family were forced to return to Mongolia. Told with the humour, warmth and brilliance of detail which characterizes Frank Cottrell Boyce’s writing, this magical and compelling story is enriched by stunning and atmospheric Polaroid photos.

The Journey
by  Francesca Sanna

With haunting echoes of the current refugee crisis this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book will stay with you long after the last page is turned.
From the author: The Journey is actually a story about many journeys, and it began with the story of two girls I met in a refugee center in Italy. After meeting them I realized that behind their journey lay something very powerful. So I began collecting more stories of migration and interviewing many people from many different countries. A few months later, in September 2014, when I started studying a Master of Arts in Illustration at the Academy of Lucerne, I knew I wanted to create a book about these true stories. Almost every day on the news we hear the terms “migrants” and “refugees” but we rarely ever speak to or hear the personal journeys that they have had to take. This book is a collage of all those personal stories and the incredible strength of the people within them.

The Colour of Home
by Mary Hoffman, illustrated by Karin Littlewood 

Hassan feels out of place in a new cold, grey country. At school, he paints a picture showing his colourful Somalian home, covered with the harsh colours of war from which his family has fled. He tells his teacher about their voyage from Mogadishu to Mombasa, then to the refugee camp and on to England. But gradually things change. When Hassan’s parents put up his next picture on the wall, Hassan notices the maroon prayer mat, a bright green cushion and his sister Naima’s pink dress – the new colours of home.

Azzi in Between
by Sarah Garland

Azzi and her parents are in danger. They have to leave their home and escape to another country on a frightening journey by car and boat. In the new country they must learn to speak a new language, find a new home and Azzi must start a new school. With a kind helper at the school, Azzi begins to learn English and understand that she is not the only one who has had to flee her home. She makes a new friend, and with courage and resourcefulness, begins to adapt to her new life. But Grandma has been left behind and Azzi misses her more than anything. Will Azzi ever see her grandma again? Drawing on her own experience of working among refugee families, renowned author and illustrator Sarah Garland tells, with tenderness and humour, an exciting adventure story to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Endorsed by Amnesty International.

The Arrival
by Shaun Tan

What drives so many to leave everything behind and journey alone to a mysterious country, a place without family or friends, where everything is nameless and the future is unknown. This silent graphic novel is the story of every migrant, every refugee, every displaced person, and a tribute to all those who have made the journey.

Shadow
by Michael Morpurgo

Never have Aman and his mother needed a friend more than when a Springer Spaniel appears – thin and war-ravaged – in the mouth of their Afghan cave. Nursed back to health by Aman, the dog becomes a constant companion, a shadow, and that’s what Aman decides to call her.

But life in Afghanistan becomes more dangerous by the moment. Eventually, Aman, his mother and Shadow find the courage to embark upon the treacherous journey from war-torn Afghanistan to the safely of a relative’s home in Manchester, England.

But how far can Shadow lead them? And in this terrifying new world, is anywhere really safe …?

The Island
by Armin Greder

Islanders find a man on the beach. He isn’t like them. They want to send him back to sea, but they don’t want to be responsible for his death.

 

They take him in, but lock him in a goat pen. He needs food, so they give him the pigs’ scraps and lock him up again.

The islanders imagine the evil the man could do. Growing restless and fearful, they march him to his raft and force him out to sea. They build a high wall around the island so that outsiders can’t trouble them again.

 

This chilling picture book about prejudice, intolerance and the plight of refugees will spark classroom discussions with older readers. The illustrations are fitting: sombre, menacing and dark-toned.

Oranges in No Man's Land
by Elizabeth Laird

Young children are the innocent victims of war and Ayesha is no exception. With her father abroad looking for work and her mother killed in a rocket attack, Ayesha and her young brothers find themselves refugees in a bombed out flat in Beirut with only an elderly grandmother to care for them.

 

When their Grandmother becomes seriously ill, Ayesha quickly realises that no-one else will take responsibility and she undertakes a perilous journey across no man's land to enemy-held territory in search of a doctor and vital medicines.

 

Drawing on personal experience, Elizabeth Laird looks at how daily life continues in the midst of violent conflict and paints a vivid and disturbing picture of a city devastated by civil war and the effects on just some of those caught up in it.

A Story Like the Wind
by Gill Lewis, illustrated by Jo Weaver 

A boy finds himself on a small dinghy with a group of people. They are fleeing a war and have paid an expensive fare to make this dangerous journey. When the boy realises he cannot share the food, as he has nothing to offer in return, he is encouraged to share music, for his sole possession is a violin.

 

The song he plays tells a story that enchants the passengers - and the bravery and hope they hear about gives them the strength to look forward to their freedom again.

 

Gill Lewis’s brief but beautiful story is rich in wonder, as well as being a timely reminder of the refugee crisis that continues today. Mixed with an exotic story of wild horses and a Dark Lord that rules a kingdom in peril, the boy’s story is sure to work its transportative charms on readers at home.

 

Unusual and memorable, with powerful illustrations.