Azzi in Between

by Sarah Garland

Azzi lives in an unnamed, war-torn nation with her parents and grandmother. In spite... read more

Azzi lives in an unnamed, war-torn nation with her parents and grandmother. In spite of the war, their lives are fairly comfortable until the day her father returns home and tells them they need to leave the country quickly, taking only the few things they can carry. Azzi clutches her stuffed bear, her mother takes a hand-woven blanket, and her father grabs a bag of beans. Grandma, claiming she's not at risk, stays behind. Azzi and her parents drive through the night until they reach a boat, which takes them to a strange land where they rebuild their lives and start over. Sarah Garland uses sequential art to tell this gripping story of a contemporary refugee child who faces the challenges of having to learn a new language and new customs while maintaining those of her home country. The lack of specificity and universal experiences makes this a story that will resonate with children from many parts of the world. Much of the emotion is communicated through the expressive pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations, and the text is perfectly paced. Remarkably, Garland manages to make Azzi's story hopeful without sugarcoating her experiences. (Ages 6-11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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