My Name is Not Refugee ISBN: 9781911370062
Published by The Bucket List, 2017
The little boy must leave his home with his mother because it isn't safe for them any more. She explains to him what will happen, and while her explanations are very simple, the illustrations show just what their journey means. They will have to 'march and dance and skate' and 'walk and walk and walk', and there will be lots of waiting around and then more walking and sleeping along the way. Sometimes it will be boring and sometimes they will be with lots of other people, but it will also be interesting to see new things. Sleeping in unusual places and not always understanding the words spoken around them, eating strange foods and having to get used to all kinds of places, they will finally find safety and another place to call home. Eventually, they will make friends, but the one thing the little boy must remember is: 'You'll be called Refugee but remember Refugee is not your name.' Intensely moving and seen very much from the child's viewpoint, the story will be particularly good for schools because along the way there are questions for children to think and talk about: 'Could you live in a place where there is no water in the taps and no one to pick up the rubbish? How far could you walk? Where would you brush your teeth or change your pants?' The pictures are fairly dark, occasionally brutal, but portray vividly the life the little family are leading, and it is perfectly plain that as long as mum is there, the little boy will feel safe and loved. This is an excellent way to help children feel empathy towards others whose life experiences have been very different to their own.