Tag Archives: Refugees

The Journey

Francesca SannaWhatever I was expecting when I picked this book up, Francesca Sanna completely exceeded them. I’d like to add this as a read-a-like to Why? (Nikolai Popov) and The Terrible Things (Eve Bunting), which I wrote about earlier, in that the reader is not spared for even a moment some of the experiences of refugees and migrants, and all of the authors do a spectacular job of opening up conversation about these heavier topics.

I’ll just quote Sanna’s blurb on her inspiration for writing The Journey:


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.

I hope you pick up this book and go on a journey of your own through the story, because both the text and the illustrations complement each other well, making for an experience you won’t soon forget. Find below the cut some more suggested reads from the junior section about immigrant experiences, and displacement.

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Freedom Isn’t Free

book cover of Every Falling StarMy grandfather told me that love burns brighter than any star. – Sungju Lee

Before reading Sungju Lee’s Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea, I didn’t know much about North Korea, much less what it is like to grow up in a country that Lee describes as “a true-to-life dystopian nation.”  Lee’s story begins with his father teaching him war tactics at age six, lessons that will later save his life as he and his friends run from the police.

As a child young Sungju dreams of becoming an army general. His life in the capital city, Pyongyang, is one of relative luxury, with a nice apartment, a good education, and after-school tae kwon do lessons. He is taught to idolize his country’s leader, Kim Il-sung, and to fear South Korea and the United States.

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