|Getting ready for storytime in #Refugeeweek2020|
Thanks for the serious hand from my film crew (Steady iphone cam - daughter and a patient companion here!)
In #RefugeeWeek many children's and Young Adult authors who have written into the experiences of child refugees past and present, would be in schools or libraries reading and talking about their work.
In lockdown I have decided a read short extract from one of the refugee children or adult characters in my stories each day. I'm doing this in the knowledge that teachers, parents and carers home schooling children may be looking for opportunities to discover alternative stories to those they may hear in the news.
Last week was Empathy Day and many children's authors talked about the power of deep listening and the importance of facing rather than shying away from events in the real world, and that fiction provides us with a way of nagivating the world, and of growing empathy for our fellow humans.
The wonderful activist and author of 'Boy At The Back Of The Class' Onjali Q Rauf and i spoke about the power of reading stories to grow empathy and putting it in action. I'm missing the energy of meeting readers so I thought to read from refugee characters in my stories. You'll find a new one each morning on twitter..
If you enjoy them I ask you to use this as an opportunity to discover how to support groups in your area and I hope these discoveries might even lead you to see how you might help in your school or community.
I offer you.... my storytime schedule each morning on twitter and a few surprises thrown in:
Monday - From Baba Suli the beekeeper in 'Where The River Runs Gold (Hachette Children's Books) whose knowledge may save food production in the world.
Tuesday - From the short story Amir and George - where the ghost of George Orwell comes to hear Amir speak. ( In ' A country to Call Home' Ed. Lucy Propescu , Unbound - an anthology of writing by Young adult writers First published in 'I'll be Home for Christmas.
Wednesday - Readings for younger readers Years 2 and Upwards from 'Worry Angels' (Barrington Stoke) and short story ' Rabina's Robin' from ' One snowy night' ( Stripes)
Thursday - Bubbe Dara - a Kindertransport refugee reflects on the treatment of child refugees today.
'Tender Earth' - Macmillan Children's Books - endorsed by Amnesty UK and IBBY.
Friday - Aisha, a Somali Refugee survivor wishes people could understand what she's been through. Set in an ancient city wood 'Red Leaves' ( Macmillan Children's Books- endorsed by Amnesty UK Resources:
Saturday - Back to my beginning as a novelist. Jide Jackson tells his story of loss during the Rwandan genocide in 'Artichoke Hearts' (Macmillan Children's Books)
My ask of you...
In return I ask you to explore these links to a few examples of Refugee Charities whose work makes such a difference to the lives of refugee people and see if and how you can affect change.
This centre is where the wonderful illustrator and author Jane Ray and I run an art and writing class. Currently resources are being sent through the post - you can find out more on the video from actress Juliet Stevenson and discover the beautiful poems and art by members of the group on on the website now.
Find out about...#FamiliesTogether
And at this time when we are all missing seeing and connecting to our families - find out more about the #FamiliesTogether campaign supported by a coalition of refugee organisations.