I don’t have a lot of experience of graphic novels and really wanted to broaden my reading experiences so when the opportunity came up to read this book that I’d heard so many good things about, I jumped at the chance. I was blown away by how clearly and boldly the message and emotion of the story was conveyed through the words and pictures. I was pulled into the story with Omar and Hassan, living every hope, triumph and disappointment with them. I will definitely be exploring more graphic novels, especially those created by Victoria Jamieson.
Set in a Kenyan refugee camp, Omar and Hassan are brothers living with the hope of one day finding their mother and returning to their farm in Somalia. Many years ago, violence and fear invaded their home forcing them to flee. Now only nightmares and their new reality remain. Everyday life in the camp is revealed through the boys’ experiences and relationships with those around them. Lessons about priorities become clear as we realise that things we often take for granted are everything to the boys. Queuing for hours for water, limited education for girls, running out of food and sleeping on the ground are normal in the camp. Hope for a better future is all they have to hang on to.
Readers will come away from this book changed. They are sure to develop understanding and empathy for those who are struggling to survive in refugee camps or trying to build a new life after being lucky enough to move on. They will gain appreciation and gratitude for what they have and be challenged to think about how they can help those who go without. When Stars are Scattered is an honest and enlightening story that needs to be told. It will grow compassion in the world and encourage readers to reach out to those who have similar stories to tell.
Thank you to Faber Children’s Books for this incredible book!
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