Flight by Nadia Wheatley and Armin Greder
“Soon, my darling,’ his mother promises him, ‘we will reach our new home’.
Flight is a confronting story about a young family fleeing from their home in search of refuge.
Drawn in shades of black and brown the images add to the feelings of unknown these travelers must be experiencing. It is dark and fearful but throughout the pages we see hope.
The story begins like that of the Christian Christmas story – a small family leaving there home town in search of safety: following the stars and riding on a donkey, but as we read along we discover this is a small Muslim family who are escaping their war torn home.
This book is one that needs to be read to older children with reflection and questioning.
However, if you have a younger child or class, you can read it to them, but be prepared to explain why the people are running from their home, why there are flames, tanks and sad faces within the drawings. It is very confronting yet realistic.
There are some great classroom teacher guides out there but what can you do at home? Remember if you do wish to read this book with younger children you can just look at the images and discuss what it would be like to live in a place where there is war.
Before you read
- What does flight mean? Look at the front and back cover. What is a fugitive and what might have the family done?
As you read
- Modify some of the language if you need to.
- Look at the faces.
- Discuss what Inshallah means. You could talk about other religions in the world. Discuss similarities and differences between religions. This would be a great research project! (Happy to help out here)
- What is a refugee camp? Check out these sites: https://refugeeweekauburn.com.au/about/ and http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/get-facts/ and http://www.erc.org.au/?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=177
- THINK: What might happen to the family?
After you read
- You can get involved with Australian refugee organisations if you wish to do something small.
- Talk about how you feel about this book and ask your child/children how they feel. Talking about feelings is a great tool and will help your child to express themselves. Let them know it is ok to feel sad and talk about how you can help in a small way.
- Look at a map of the world to see where refugee camps are and where refugees come from who are now in Australia.
- Look up some famous Australians who were refugees. Anh Do’s book: The Happiest Refugee is a great place to start. We can see where is he now and what his family had to go through to be here.
‘One day,’ he promises his mother, ‘we will reach our new home.’