Author Spotlight

Choosing Books for Young Readers about “that stranger who sits next to me” — Refugees and War

Isn’t it ironic?  For over ten years our young people have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for the freedom of their citizens.  During this same time, refugees from those countries have sought asylum here.  But when these refugees arrive, they are seldom welcomed.  When returning soldiers and their families — or a refugee child — looks for a book that tells their story, few exist. These families from the Middle East have become part of our communities. Often these refugee children remain strangers. Few know their stories.  They are left out, even shunned. How can children learn about these newcomers?  Story is one way. A few years ago I wrote, Warriors in the Crossfire, that tells the story of the native people living on the island of Saipan when American troops invaded.  Islanders thanked me for putting their experiences into a “real book,”  which gave respect and validation. A…