What Is a Refugee? by Elise Gravel

What Is a Refugee?

With simple text and vivid, cartoon-like illustrations suitable for young children, author and illustrator Elise Gravel answers the question, “What is a refugee?” Foundational to her answer is the belief that “a refugee is a person, just like you and me.”

In brief sentences, Gravel explains that refugees flee their countries to escape danger, war, political opposition, and religious persecution. She makes it clear that, if it were possible, most refugees would rather stay in their own countries near the people and places they love and are familiar with.

Gravel points out that, once refugees have fled, they continue to face obstacles - sometimes it’s hard to find another country to live in because some nations don’t welcome refugees. For those forced to live in refugee camps, life is difficult.

Gravel’s easy-to-understand, age-sensitive portrayal of refugees’ lives concludes with quotes from refugee children she met while writing her book and brief portraits of famous people who were refugees. School teachers, parents, and children’s church leaders might find this a useful, informative resource that could lead to a conversation about welcoming strangers in Jesus’ name. (Schwartz & Wade)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.
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