Refuge centres around a 14-year-old male Afghan who spent much of his life in Pakistan refugee camps before making the voyage from Indonesia to Australia. As the boat crashes against the rocks of Christmas Island he loses consciousness and awakes to find himself in the life he has always dreamed of in Australia, but with no memory of how he got there: not unusual, says his doctor father. AS it is the school holidays he becomes one of a gang of kids who roam the beach, led by an older boy, although he slowly realises that the true power is wielded by ten year old Susanna - who has been ten years old for twenty years.
Each of the children in the gang has come to Australia as a place of hope or refuge and they represent the times and places of Australia’s greatest migrations. Their life is everything they have dreamed of, from the wonderful House of Women for Chinese Tien Ling to Irish Dairmid’s farm, Luis’s fishing boat, the library that goes on forever, and the musical concerts for German David Goldberg.
Slowly our Afghan boy realises that each day he can make the choice: to stay in the dream or walk through the door on the beach, or to go back to the sea and the rocks and accept real life instead.
About the Author
Jackie French was born in Sydney and grew up in Brisbane, but moved to the bush in her early twenties. She is a keen gardener and appeared on the TV series Burke's Backyard. She has written well over a hundred books. Jackie lives in New South Wales, near the small town of Braidwood at Araluen. She began writing when she was 30, in a desperate attempt to get enough money together to register her car. At the time, she was living in a tin shed with a black snake named Gladys and a wombat named Smudge. A hundred and thirty-two books later, she is still writing. She can rightly be called Australia's most popular children's writer.Jackie also appears regularly on radio and television.
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Comments about Refuge:
Thought provoking and goes beyond the conventional stories of refugees. Hard to place in a genre though as it takes a refreshingly different perspective and covers both contemporary and historic characters. A compassionate well written story with no easy answers. Jackie French is a gifted storyteller and this book can be read by adults and kids on different levels.
For Ages: 12 - 15 years old
For Grades: 6 - 9
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st August 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.19