illus. by Armin Greder. 40p. Allen & Unwin. Jun. 2018. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9781760630959.
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.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing