Hamzat's Journey: A Refugee Diary

Hamzat's Journey: A Refugee Diary

by June Allan, Annemarie Young, Anthony Robinson
     
 

This third book in the Refugee Diaries series follows the story of a boy from Chechnya. In 2001 when Chechens were at war with Russia, he was on his way to school in the capital Grozny when he stepped on a landmine. His leg had to be amputated and eventually he and his father went to the UK for expert treatment and fitting of an artifical leg. As it was unsafe for

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Overview

This third book in the Refugee Diaries series follows the story of a boy from Chechnya. In 2001 when Chechens were at war with Russia, he was on his way to school in the capital Grozny when he stepped on a landmine. His leg had to be amputated and eventually he and his father went to the UK for expert treatment and fitting of an artifical leg. As it was unsafe for them to return to Chechnya, the family sought asylum in the UK. Eventually Hamzat's mother and sister joined them in London and now the family are learning to adapt to their new life after the horror of living in a war zone. This poignant and at times harrowing story reveals the bravery of Hamzat and his family in facing and overcoming their circumstances to start a new life. Simply told and atmospherically illustrated with photographs and colour illustrations, this is a powerful book that will move all who read it and also be a valuable resource for supporting Citizenship learning in KS2 and KS3 classroooms and libraries. Other titles in the series: Gervelie's Journey, Mohammed's Journey, Meltem's Journey

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
This book tells the true story of a young boy, Hamzat, growing up in war-torn Chechnya, whose life changes forever on April 20, 2001 when he steps on a landmine, losing his right leg below the knee. Told in Hamzat's own words, the reader learns how his family and others helped Hamzat to reach England for a new leg and to start a new life. Part of "A Refugee Diary" series, the work uses British-English, which can be confusing to the reader as unfamiliar terms are used without in-text definition or a glossary at the end. Illustrations and photographs bring the words to life and also demonstrate the reality. The author divides the book into chapters by time and place, helping the reader live through the events with Hamzat, from the seeming normalcy of hunger and fear, to despair, to accidents and hospitalization, and to the future. After Hamzat's story, the author includes a page of "Did You Know" facts and a page containing a brief history of Chechnya. This book is useful in history and social studies courses and also as an example of a the utility of keeping a diary. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—This British import relates the story of a Chechnyan boy who, at age eight, in 2001, lost his leg in a land-mine accident. Ostensibly narrated by Hamzat himself, the text is printed in an informal font and incorporates a handful of youthful colloquialisms, but Hamzat is not listed as an author. He tells about receiving an artificial leg through UNICEF and about how he later traveled to England with another injured child to be fitted with a better leg. Once there, his family received refugee status, and Hamzat began to adjust to English life. The narrative ends with him speculating about a return to Chechnya, where the fighting has since stopped. An epilogue provides some facts about the country and a brief overview of recent conflicts there. While American students may be confused by a reference to the English school grade system, the writing is otherwise clear and straightforward. The large spreads all have pastel illustrations, though the mostly unexpressive figures and beige background make for a lackluster appearance. Photos of the real-life Hamzat and of his town are the most compelling element of the work. Libraries that own other solid works on the experience of war or of being a refugee, such as Deborah Ellis's Children of War (Groundwood, 2009) or Trisha Marx's One Boy from Kosovo (HarperCollins, 2000) may consider this an additional purchase.—Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847800305
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
02/23/2010
Series:
A Refugee Diary Series
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

June Allan has illustrated many children's books. She lives in Edinburgh, U.K.

JULIAN ROBINSON is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. He worked for fifteen years as a professional fashion designer, with his own label and as a consultant, working with Sir Norman Hartnell, Yves Saint Laurent, Mary Quant and Zandra Rhodes.He worked as a lecturer at colleges and universities in the UK and Australia and is the author of numerous books including The Brilliance of Art Deco (1987), The Fine Art of Fashion (1989) and The Golden Age of Style (1983).

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