If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know how much I believe in the empowerment that children’s literature can bring. Books, literacy and all the skills that come around that are one of the greatest superpowers that we can give children. And, on International Literacy Day, it seems right to acknowledge that through providing a quick round up of links that are relevant to addressing some of the humanitarian issues affecting our world today. To quote Miss Wilson, from my beloved Chalet School series:
“When children reach the teens, they ought to know something of the evils we are fighting against – something of what other children, no older than they, are enduring in the occupied countries. After all, it will be the boys and girls who are now in their early teens who will have to rebuild life, once the war is over. By all means, keep the worst horrors from them. But I do feel that they must learn something of what war in these days of mechanism can mean, so that they can build and work to prevent it ever happening again. From the time they are old enough to understand what starvation and terrorism mean, our children must be taught about them, so that they can see to it that their children shall not go through what so many of the children of the present day are going through!”
“Why fiction can help us understand the Syrian refugee crisis” – Gillian Cross, author of the very good After Tomorrow, talks about how fiction and the refugee experience. Includes a further reading list in the comments of crowd sourced suggestions.
Patrick Ness is spearheading a fundraising campaign for Save the Children.
This is a useful FAQ on the Syrian war itself.
14/9 Edit : 12 Children’s books about refugees