Marwan’s Journey

Particia de Arias, illus. by Laura Borràs. Minedition, $17.99 (36p) ISBN 978-988-8341-55-9
After tanks arrive and “swallow up everything,” a boy begins the harrowing, heartbreaking journey away from his home in an unnamed desert village: “I take giant steps even though I am small.... I don’t know when I will get there, or where I am going. I carry a heavy bag.” His mother is missing, but the boy dreams of her as they camp at night and imagines her words urging him forward as he walks during the day, joining “hundreds of people, thousands of feet, one in front of the other.” Finally, the boy reaches a border, where an ambiguous ending suggests that he finds a new home in a new country. Readers may need help puzzling out a few metaphors in some of the spare, poetic lines (“I will build my house with the cement of my sure steps”). But Borràs, the recipient of several international illustration awards, creates powerful images in fluid ink lines and textured paint washes that convey with uncommon sensitivity a young refugee’s fear, courage, and sense of dislocation. Ages 5–7. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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