A glimpse into the lives of child refugees as well as the resilience and endurance they exhibit in many forms.
On the first page, readers see a darkly lit, full-page photograph featuring a group of adults and children bundled up and traveling at night in Croatia. Most of the group stares out at readers, and a line of plain text provides thematic context underneath the photo: “Sometimes scary things happen to good people.” Each page follows this pattern, presenting, for example, a snapshot of a family posing on a road with their belongings in Rwanda or a child at sea near Greece while the accompanying captions attempt to underscore each situation. McCarney (Canada’s ambassador to the U.N. and author of Every Day Is Malala Day, 2014) strings together a series of events occurring in countries as diverse as South Sudan, Hungary, and Iraq into an international quandary. How do children experience life as refugees? In Jordan, two children drag plastic containers behind them as they walk toward a city of tents, while two boys exemplify coolness with one in sunglasses and the other in safety glasses in Cameroon. Though the author aims to highlight a timely issue via sketches of conflict, her first-person narration strives for a universal tone that doesn’t quite match the pictures, which hint at more by not revealing much.
Peering into a fractured mirror reflects some hope back. (Picture book. 5-9)