Azzi and her parents are in danger. They have to leave their home and escape to another country on a frightening journey by car and boat. In the new country they must learn to speak a new language, find a new home and Azzi must start a new school. With a kind helper at the school, Azzi begins to learn English and understand that she is not the only one who has had to flee her home. She makes a new friend, and with courage and resourcefulness, begins to adapt to her new life. But Grandma has been left behind and ...
Azzi and her parents are in danger. They have to leave their home and escape to another country on a frightening journey by car and boat. In the new country they must learn to speak a new language, find a new home and Azzi must start a new school. With a kind helper at the school, Azzi begins to learn English and understand that she is not the only one who has had to flee her home. She makes a new friend, and with courage and resourcefulness, begins to adapt to her new life. But Grandma has been left behind and Azzi misses her more than anything. Will Azzi ever see her grandma again? Drawing on her own experience of working among refugee families, renowned author and illustrator Sarah Garland tells, with tenderness and humour, an exciting adventure story to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Gr 2–5—"There was a country at war, and that is where this story begins." Thus starts a tale that is both universal and specific, in which Azzi, a sweet and unique little girl serves as an everychild representing all refugees. The narrative follows her family's escape, arduous journey, and difficulties settling into their new land and ends with hope for a peaceful and loving new life. The countries are never named and the peoples' ethnicities not specified, allowing the focus to remain squarely on the realistic emotional dynamics. The story is told simply and touchingly in an approachable way that will evoke empathy in young readers. This is as much an effect of the graphic-novel style illustrations as of the text; both elements combine to create a reassuring atmosphere for the serious topic. The felt-tip and watercolor artwork echoes the friendly style of Aliki or Anita Lobel, even in the scenes of Azzi's war-torn homeland. There are no depictions of graphic violence, just a general sense of disruption and displacement. This book should be widely shared. Adults will have to judge whether younger readers are ready for it, and may have to help older readers to accept it, but this beautifully told, emotionally true story is worth promoting.—Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Though given a British setting, this sensitive tale of a young war refugee slowly adapting to a new life will strike chords of sympathy and recognition almost anywhere. A hasty nighttime departure with her parents leads to a long ride in a motor launch crowded with other refugees. In "the new country," Azzi finds herself living with her parents in a one-room flat, going to a school where she doesn't speak the language and pining for her left-behind grandmother. Her feelings of isolation are soon eased by Sabeen, an adult classroom helper who speaks her language and teaches her English phrases, and Lucy, a friendly classmate. Azzi in turn helps her parents settle in by sharing newly learned words and also by planting a handful of the beans her father had brought in her class' summer garden. In time, her father receives a work permit that allows a move to a small house, and, joy of joys, her grandmother arrives to reunite the family. In Garland's sequential panels, Azzi's subdued emotional landscape is clearly mapped in her body language, occasional tears and sweet smile. Her city of origin is never specified, freeing the sharply felt anxiety and life-altering disruption she and her parents experience from particular locales or wars. A positive but not blandly idealized portrayal of challenges displaced people face. (Graphic picture book. 7-9)
Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)
Meet the Author
Sarah Garland is a much-loved author/illustrator who has published more than 40 books. The daughter of a publisher and illustrator, she trained as a typographer at the London College of Printing. She has written many books for children, and also books for adults on herbs and their uses. During her childhood in the New Forest and in recent years she has concentrated on growing a very wide variety of herbs to use in her kitchen, and to treat minor ailments.
She lives in Chedworth, Gloucestershire, U.K.
Her books for Frances Lincoln are Eddie's Garden and Eddie's Kitchen; Going to Playschool, Doing the Garden, Going Swimming, Coming to Tea, Doing the Shopping, Doing Christmas, Having a Picnic and Doing the Washing; Billy and Belle; Dashing Dog; Splash and Zoom.