What Is a Refugee? by Elise Gravel

What Is a Refugee?
Purchased for my school library with district funds
With a straightforwardly simple words and illustrations Gravel has created an explanatory book that can be read to and understood by kindergarteners and serve as a conversation starter for older children. Beginning with some of the reasons why people might need to leave their homeland, Gravel makes the point that refugees have fled because their lives are in danger. They may not want to leave their homelands and families, and leaving is often dangerous and difficult, especially because so many countries do not want to welcome them. Gravel shows readers that refugees may have to live in substandard conditions while waiting for a country to welcome. Throughout the book, Gravel emphasizes that refugees are just like you and me, showing kids of all colors laughing and playing. Back matter includes quotes from refugee children Gravel met while writing the book and brief biographies of famous refugees, including Bob Marley and Freddie Mercury.

What Is a Refugee? is a valuable addition to the growing number of kid's books that help readers understand what it means to be a refugee. In its general approach to a multifaceted, global crisis, Gravel has created a book that is a starting place for everyone at a time when our country is deeply divided and increasingly xenophobic.

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