This ambitious narrative strives to create awareness of the plight of refugees through personal vignettes, salient historical context, and an overview of current worldwide hot spots.
Now-iconic photographs of Pope Francis, Justin Trudeau, Malala Yousafzai, and even a Sesame Street puppet punctuate the text, which is broken down into graphically inviting segments. The immediate launch into the subtopic of climate migration slows the momentum of the opening chapter. The wording of the brief section on Palestinian refugees opens with a patent falsehood—that nearly “one million Palestinians left their homes,” implying a voluntary evacuation. In stark contrast to sections on other refugee groups which contain strongly worded information and evocative quotes from individuals about the suffering and oppression leading to their refugee status, the book is silent on corresponding events endured by Palestinians (who are also excluded from the index). The irony of the chapter title “Welcome to the United States” becomes obvious in the enumeration of the vetting process for potential refugees. Frequent in-line definitions of words disrupt the readability; expanding the glossary would have streamlined the narrative. Profiles of individual refugees, particularly success stories such as Rep. Ilhan Omar, put a human face on the subject. A map, infographic, and sidebars provide important contextual information. The book concludes with suggestions for ways readers can help refugees in their communities.
A timely and thought-provoking discussion of an urgent humanitarian issue despite the caveats noted. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)