Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tackling Big Topics with Kids - Refugees

Refugees. We hear this word everyday on the news. If your kids are asking questions about what it means to be a refugee, and even if they're not, these two books are gems.  Empathy for the world's displaced and searching peoples begins at home. Build a child's experience and understanding for the new kid in their class or the family that moved into that furnished apartment with only one suitcase. With tenderness, honesty, and hope, these books offer a window into the refugee experience.

MY TWO BLANKETS
by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014

"We came to this country to be safe." But Cartwheel doesn't feel like herself in a new country where everything is strange. A personal connection makes all the difference as Cartwheel learns that no matter where she is, she will always be herself.


THE JOURNEY
by Francesca Sanna
Flying Eye Books, 2016

Fleeing war and searching for safety, a mother and her children embark on a harrowing journey. When the narrator notes, "The further we go... the more we leave behind," as the family's belongings dwindle, he is also illustrating the heartbreak of leaving cultural traditions and ancestral land for an elusive safety in an unknown land. There is no specific destination at the end of this book. Like the refugees themselves, there is only hope: "I hope, one day, like these birds, we will find a new home. A home where we can be safe and begin our story again."