Meltem's Journey: A Refugee Diary

Overview


This fourth book in the Refugee Diary series follows a Kurdish family from Eastern Turkey. 13 year old Meltem tells the story of their journey to the UK, and the harrowing months waiting to find out if they can stay in Britain. Meltem encounters racism, her father goes missing and the family is sent to Yarl's Wood detention centre. But the end of the story is full of hope for the future, as the family is at last given permission to stay in the UK and Meltem starts a new school ...
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Overview


This fourth book in the Refugee Diary series follows a Kurdish family from Eastern Turkey. 13 year old Meltem tells the story of their journey to the UK, and the harrowing months waiting to find out if they can stay in Britain. Meltem encounters racism, her father goes missing and the family is sent to Yarl's Wood detention centre. But the end of the story is full of hope for the future, as the family is at last given permission to stay in the UK and Meltem starts a new school and makes friends.

A powerful addition to the acclaimed Refugee Diaries series, which includes Gervelie's Journey (Congo), Mohammed's Journey (Iraq) and Hamzat's Journey (Chechnya)

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr2–4—Meltem, a young Turkish Kurd who lived on a pistachio farm, was frightened when, in 1999, her father was badly beaten by Turkish soldiers. The family became refugees, traveling first to Germany. After a year, the German government denied their application for asylum, and they quickly left for England to avoid being returned to Turkey. Again they applied for asylum. From 2001 to 2008, the family had ups and downs in their quest for legal residence. Happiness with their ultimate success was dimmed by Meltem's father's death in 2009 from cancer. Robinson relates the events from Meltem's perspective, keeping the book's focus child-centered. The political intricacies of governmental immigration policies and racial group discrimination are not explored, leaving plenty of room for discussion. Meltem just wanted to live in a safe place with her parents, have friends, and go to school. The realistic watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations incorporate borders that recall Turkish designs, and two photographs of Meltem are included. Back matter briefly explains the recent history of the Kurdish people.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Kirkus Reviews

A Kurdish refugee tells the story of her family's constant threat of imprisonment and deportation when asylum is denied following their illegal journey from a village in eastern Turkey to England.

Fourteen-year-old Meltem recounts her incredibly precarious and tension-failed life, beginning with her early childhood on her parents' pistachio farm. Their once-peaceful and productive existence is interrupted by the beating of her father by Turkish soldiers. His eventual escape to Germany leads Meltem and her mother to follow, with some underground help and the assistance of the German social services. Their arrival in England complicates their asylum application, because their escape involved coming through another country. The constant movement—in and out of apartments, transitions to several schools, detainment, even imprisonment—and the final loss of her father to cancer culminate in some serious psychological problems for this child, who openly exhibits anxiety and depression. Loose watercolors against pale green backgrounds, some with folk-art borders, occasionally complemented by photographic inserts, depict the family and their continually changing situation. Robinson's text is blunt and often choppy, reflecting the girl's voice in her newly acquired English. Meltem's plight ends on a positive tone with official permission to stay in England providing some stability through a new high school, friends and the dream of becoming a doctor.

Starkly realistic and eye-opening, if emotionally difficult.(facts about Kurdistan, historical note) (Informational picture book. 8-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847800312
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Series: A Refugee Diary Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,461,048
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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