Celebrating Sanctuary - Refugee Stories
What does it feel like to have to leave your home and friends, and maybe even your family, and move to a strange country?
These stories describe the experiences of children and young people who have been through daring escapes and faced difficult situations with courage and hope.
Kerr, Judith - When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
'It was a small piece of red enamel with a black hooked cross on it. 'It's called a swastika' said Gunther, 'all the Nazis have them'. Suppose your country began to change. Suppose that without your noticing it became dangerous for you and your family to live there. This is what happened to Anna and her family in Germany in 1933. At nine years of age she and her brother are rushed out of Germany in alarming secrecy as their father is wanted by the Nazis - dead or alive. This novel describes the frightening and exciting true adventure and journey into the unknown of a family seeking refuge and safety. Judith Kerr writes from personal experience in this powerful and moving story.
Serraillier, Ian - The Silver Sword
After enduring the horrors of the Second World War, four children travel across Europe from Warsaw to Switzerland in search of their parents. The story is based on the lives of real children in Red Cross records and describes the difficult and dangerous situations that the refugees have to face before the family can be together again.
Wulf, Linda Press - The Night of the Burning
Told by a Jewish orphan, Devorah, this is the true story of two little girls in the aftermath of the Polish pogroms of 1921. It tells of the terrible poverty, disease and deprivation which affected all the peasants in their village and its climax, the Night of the Burning. With help from their Christian neighbour the sisters flee the area and find refuge in a Jewish orphanage. Eventually they are taken to South Africa where the girls are split up and adopted by two separate families. The story shows a small part of the long history of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe, which in turn paved the way to the Holocaust.
Stories for Teenagers
Laird, Elizabeth - Kiss the Dust
This story is based on the experiences of the many Kurdish people who have been forced to flee their homes in Iraq. To avoid arrest by the secret police, teenager Tara and her family escape across the Zagros mountains, enduring a terrifying journey before arriving in London where they have to adjust to a new life.
Naidoo, Beverley - The Other Side of Truth
After their mother is murdered for political reasons, two Nigerian children are sent to seek safety in London. The woman who is paid to take them abandons them and they are left to survive on their own in a frightening and strange city. They must look after each other and try to contact their father who is still in Africa. This book won the Carnegie Medal award for children's books.
Zephaniah, Benjamin - Refugee Boy
Alem is taken to Britain to escape the fighting between Eritrea and Ethiopia, only to find that he now has to cope with the difficulties of being a refugee in a strange country.
Filipovic, Zlata - Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo
Zlata began her diary just before her eleventh birthday in Autumn 1991. In the two years that follow, she describes life in Sarajevo during the war.
Reserve your books online
These books are all available from Birmingham Library Service and can be reserved through the online catalogue.
Useful Links and Resources for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
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