A great find in the charity shop again – this book should be read by everybody.
Alem is a refugee whose father is Ethiopian and mother is Eritrean. He comes to London unaware of what is happening to him but having experienced very real horrors in Africa.
It is a tricky sort of book, written in relatively easy language so that children can read it easily but with a subject that is anything but easy to read. It is filled with heartwarming characters who care about Alem and a system that appears not to.
I am not ashamed to admit that I cried. It’s heartbreaking, over and over. The conditions Alem and his father are made to live in are evocative and horrifying and his story is, I understand, is not so unusual in the real world.
It takes a brave and extremely talented person to bring this kind of story to life in a way that children could appreciate and understand. Clearly Benjamin Zephaniah is that man.
Will I ask my eldest to read it though? It broke my heart and is so relevant to modern times that I think I have to, but maybe not just yet.