Take a minute to read my review of The Colour of Home. Now read my review of Oranges in No man's land. I think these two books set the scene for my book today which is Azzi in Between.
Azzi lives in a country beset by war. Each day the sights and sounds of the war come closer to her precious family until one day a message comes that they must flee. Sadly they leave her grandmother behind along with her special garden.
“Quick! Get in the car! No time to lose, no time to pack. We must leave the country. We are in terrible danger!”
The family make their dangerous journey to a new land. Just like Hassan in The Colour of Home, Azzi has to make a huge adjustment to her new home, school and culture.
You may know Sarah Garland from her joyous picture books like Doing the washing, Going shopping or Having a picnic. This new book marks a huge change of intended audience, style and theme. You can read the authors own words here where she explains her inspiration for this book. Azzi in between is a graphic novel/graphic picture book. The ‘message’ of this book is powerful and important but it is delivered in a way that is accessible to a younger reader and it concludes with such a positive and happy ending that you will find yourself smiling like Azzi.
You might also look at Refugee by David Miller, Zilba came on a Boat by Liz Lofthouse and for older students Home and Away by John Marsden. If you would like to read a novel on the topic of refugees I think Soraya the Storyteller by Rosanne Hawke is one of the best.
You should also know this book is endorsed by Amnesty International UK. I will quote from Robin Morrow in Magpies “This book should be welcome in every library and classroom, and bear fruit in knowledge and empathy.”