Books to take your children’s eyes on a journey of wonder. Publisher of award winning fiction and non-fiction for children.
The Journey is based on actual stories shared by refugees to the author and it began after she met two young girls who were living in a refugee center in Italy in 2014. Their stories are powerful, raw, and very personal. The author, Francesca, decided it was important to share their stories and this book is dedicated to the incredible strength of the people who made such sacrifices to leave behind their lives to try to find safe havens for their family. This book is for younger children, but I have to give you a huge warning, this is a hauntingly true tale and if you are not prepared to have those conversations with your children about war and the current refugee crisis, you may want to hold off on reading this book until you feel it is appropriate. Believe me, this book will stay with you long after you read it.
When I read The Journey to Brooke, I had to fight some tears that would prick my eyes. Brooke was full of questions. She somewhat understands ‘war’, but in a very child-like way and it is difficult to explain exactly how and why these things happen where a mass exodus of people become uprooted from their homes. I’ve never been in combat and I’ve never had to leave my home because of the tragedy and turmoil of war, so how could I explain or pretend to know? The answer is, I didn’t try to hide my own frustration and lack of knowledge on the subject to my child. These circumstances are so unimaginable about having to leave your home, your country, even possibly your entire family and become a displaced refugee, yet we know hundreds of thousands exist around the world at this very moment. While there are powerful stories of families being able to start over and live as normally as possible after an ordeal like that, I think of all the children that do not have a family to look after them. You can’t fix what you choose to ignore, and it’s easy to forget sometimes just how GOOD we have it in the United States. Yes, there are many areas that have poverty and high crime, I’m not blind to that, but I don’t know how you can compare it to the life of a refugee. The Journey will make you appreciate your life and think about ways you can help others who are not as lucky.
Check out UNICEF’s website https://www.unicefusa.org/ with your child on ways you can donate and give humanitarian aid to refugees who desperately need it. It’s one small way to give back and count your blessings and hope that someone would do the same for your children if the situation was reversed. Even after all I have read and learned, this book was still an eye-opener to me and my child.
About the Author: Francesca Sanna is an Italian illustrator and graphic designer who moved to Switzerland to follow her dream to work as an illustrator. She graduated in 2015 from the Lucerne School of Art and Design with a Master of Design with focus on Illustration. The Journey is her first picture book.
List Price: $ 17.95