Azzi in Between by Sarah Garland

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Azzi in Between by Sarah Garland

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The story, in graphic novel format of Azzi who has a good life, despite there being a war nearby but who then becomes a refugee and has to start a new life elsewhere. Moving and important.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1847806512

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Our story begins in a country at war. Unfortunately you could probably put a name to it (although it isn't named) as it happens all too regularly. Our heroine is Azzi, a young girl whose life was not too affected by the war, but every day it came a little closer. Her father still worked as a doctor and her mother made beautiful clothes. Her grandmother wove warm blankets. Then the day came when they had to run, for their lives, and escape was by boat and they became refugees. The three of them - for Grandma had been left behind - had been luckier than most for they were accepted on a temporary basis into another country (again it's not named) and they had a home, although it was just one room.

That isn't the end of the story though: Azzi had to cope with going to school and learning a new language. Her father struggles as it's not that he can't find work, it's that he's not allowed to work until the family knows that they can stay in the country. But Azzi is determined to win through and life returns to some normality when the family is joined by Grandma and their papers arrive telling them that they can stay.

It's an important story, gently told. The horror of war is underplayed and handled sensitively - no one reading this is going to have sleepless nights - but it does bring home the reality of being a refugee. At a time when 'immigration' is a political hot potato it's essential that people understand what lies behind some people's journey to another - to any - country. I hope that I haven't made the book sound worthy, because it's far better than that. Whilst the difficulties are outlined, the story is ultimately optimistic and uplifting. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Sarah Garland writes superb books for young children. We've recently been impressed with Eddie's Tent and How to go Camping. We think that Where's the Elephant? by Barroux is another important book which everyone should read as is When Spring Comes to the DMZ by Uk-Bae Lee.

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