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[Nonfiction Wednesday] Knowing More About “Refugees and Migrants” by Roberts and Kai

"Sometimes people leave their homes because war, a natural disaster or terrorism mean that it's dangerous to stay."

nfwedMyra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2017 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.

Before I share my review this week, I would like to invite you all to join our Literary Voyage Around the World Reading Challenge for 2018. Here is our Announcement Page which also contains detailed guidelines if you so decide to participate – you can be a Literary Backpacker/ Hitchhiker – or a Literary Globetrotter, totally your choice.

Refugees and Migrants

Written by: Ceri Roberts Illustrated by: Hanane Kai
Published by: Wayland, 2016
ISBN-10: 1526300206 (ISBN13: 9781526300201)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

This nonfiction title offers a very accessible, simple (yet not simplistic), and effective way of conveying to young readers who are refugees and migrants and the many reasons that make them move to a different country.

The distinction between one and the other has likewise been established from the very first page:

Sometimes people leave their homes because war, a natural disaster or terrorism mean that it’s dangerous to stay. These people are known as refugees. Others leave for a happier, healthier life, to join family members overseas, or because they don’t have enough money and need a job. People who choose to do this are called migrants.

What I like about this book is how it allows young readers to insert themselves into the narrative, as it makes reference to what an ordinary child may have experienced when they go on vacation or on a journey – and comparing it to refugees’ or migrants’ experiences, who are forced to leave behind everything that mattered to them in their previous lives.

By presenting the realities in a non-dramatic, matter-of-fact manner, it allows greater opportunities for young readers to practice perspective-taking and to really reflect on how life can be like from a refugee/migrant’s eyes.

I also like how proactive the entire narrative is as it invites readers to consider ways through which they can reach out to a new child in their school or community or how to take very concrete steps to assist refugees who may have moved to their city.

For teachers who may be considering using this picturebook in their classroom, you may want to pair it with this short video clip as this depicts the differences between a refugee and a migrant:

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

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