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Surapat. Year 7, NDAllstars

The Journey

On the cover we see a lot of luggage. We also see lots of birds in flight. The dark character is scary, it looks like it is grabbing at the fleeing family. The three modes of transport the family use are all featured on the cover, the boats are being thrown around on the rough seas, showing the danger the migrants face. Inside, we see the birds flying in the same direction as the family's journey.
The city where the family lives looks like it could be in the Middle East or Asia because the colours are warm and the buildings are very different to the ones here.
The fact that the sea is black shows sadness is coming, it looks like it is creeping in and making everyone sad. The beautiful buildings that are touched by the black hands are destroyed- I think the hands represent the war.
I think the saddest picture is the one with the father's glasses when he is killed in the war. In the next illustration, we see a portrait of happier times, contrasting with the current sadness of the family as the gloomy, dark sadness takes over them. The way the illustrator shows the lady talking about the safe country she hopes to escape to, painting a picture with words, is very clever. Their new home is very different to their old one- the colours suggest a much colder climate and so do the animals which live there. At the start of the journey, the family have a lot of belongings, packed in cases but as they get further away, they are left with almost nothing- we have seen this during the current refugee situation in Syria. People arriving with only the clothes on their backs.
The dark, forbidding forest shows the many dangers people face, attempting to reach safety. The huge, powerful guard is bigger than the trees, showing the power he has to prevent them crossing the border.The way the mother waited until her children were sleeping, to cry, so they couldn't see how scared and frightened she was is a very powerful illustration. The fact the person who eventually helps them cross the border is depicted as some sort of shadowy monster, suggests the author sees these people as not very nice people, who prey on the desperate, helpless, fleeing families.
The picture where the family walks down to the sea is much brighter, giving the impression things are going to get better, the birds are still flying. As the small red boat floats above the creatures of the deep, the octopus seems to be lying in wait for a victim. I think the bright splashes of yellow in the dark, rough sea represents hope. The sea is much calmer when the family first sees land and the migrating birds still accompany them as they board a train, taking them to a safe, secure home and future.
I like this book and think it should be read by lots of people age 8+ so they can understand what the poor refugees have to suffer in order to escape to a better life. I give it 9/10

Posted on: 25th April 2017 at 03:04 pm

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