International Literature and Refugee Stories

From the Syrian refugee crisis to what is currently happening at the Mexico-US border, the stories of refugees have become a bigger part of the narrative in US politics and even daily life. From reading Baddawi earlier in the semester, we already know the importance of stories about immigration and refugees. It is especially important that we read stories from international authors who have more of a background in the topic than an author from the United States who has not left the country, for example. There is so much fear and misinformation that selecting books with true or base-on true stories can help to educate students, at least. The treatment of the asylum seekers at our southern border earlier this week shows just how much we need these stories. It is all too easy to forget what is happening or believe the false accusations. Reading about why people actually flee, what they experience, and how they are treated in a new place can help to keep this on our minds and motivate people.

There are three titles I would like to recommend for reading either for yourself or for your classroom. The Bone Sparrow by Zane Fraillon tells the story of a refugee boy stuck in a detention center in Australia (The Bone Sparrow). With all the talk of and putting people in detention centers in our country, it is important to learn about something that is becoming an institution here and, hopefully, learn why this should be stopped. The second title, Earthless Trees, is a collection of stories written by teen and younger refugees about their journey and new life in New Zealand (Earthless Trees). A Land of Permanent Goodbyes, by Atia Abawi, focuses on a teenage boy in Syria throughout the refugee crisis. The last two titles are both written by refugees themselves (A Land of Permanent Goodbyes). While Atia Abawi was not a refugee from Syria, she is a refugee and was in the country as journalist during the crisis. This type of authorship is different than the first title listed which was written based on research on the conditions of detention centers in Australia. I would like to recommend a book written by someone with experience beyond research, but there does not seem to be any yet. All of these works are important novels for all ages to read to inform themselves on these topics as we fight for people.

Works Cited

“The Bone Sparrow” Amazon. Amazon, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2018.

“Earthless Trees” Christchurch Libraries. Christchurch Libraries, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2018.

“A Land of Permanent Goodbyes” Amazon. Amazon, n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2018.

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