NONFICTION
Mediterranean
illus. by Armin Greder. 40p. Allen & Unwin. Jun. 2018. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9781760630959.
COPY ISBN
Gr 6 Up—Beginning with just one sentence, the remainder of this moving story about the plight of refugees is told through wordless full-page illustrations, followed by a thoughtful afterword that provides more context and encourages further reflection. With a muted palette of primarily gray and white, Greder uses charcoals to create fluid movements in the illustrations that help readers feel the tension. At first glance, the art appears more like rough sketches; but the longer each page is pored over, the more readers will notice the intricacies and expertise. Greder balances light and dark and uses different perspectives to create momentum in the journey. The story strikingly begins with a body sinking into the sea with fish. The fish are caught in a net, sold, and bought. This leads to the more sinister barter of guns, which are then used in the destruction of villages. Those who survive such violence must journey by foot, making their way to the sea and onto overcrowded boats. The final illustration is of a boat sinking, harkening back to the beginning of the book, showcasing how this heartless and vicious cycle repeats itself.
VERDICT This accessible yet heartbreaking story deserves to be read and discussed by readers of many different ages.

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