Monday, 24 June 2013

Looking back at Refugee Week: books for children

Lajee Dancers in Glasgow
Last week was Refugee Week. In Scotland, it kicked of with a photo-call of a few of the acts performing throughout the week, including these talented young dancers who live in a refugee camp in Palestine. Aida Camp is crowded and insecure - how do you explain to children the sorts of lives these young people are living?

Step forward the amazing Zoe Toft who writes the award-winning blog Playing by the Book. All through Refugee Week she featured children's books about refugees. For example she both reviewed Azzi in between, about a young girl arriving in this country, and interviewed its author, Sarah Garland. She wrote about fiction for kids to make them think about life as a refugee and listed over 75 books about the refugee experience. Finally, she posted about 17 authors and illustrators who were themselves refugees, including famous names such as Judith Kerr and Eva Ibbotson.

Zoe's posts are often accompanied by suggestions for activities, written for her own children but adaptable for the classroom. Books about refugees are not just for Refugee Week - use them at any time to encourage children to empathise and learn to combat negative attitudes in society.

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