Next on my Carnegie list was Zana Fraillon’s The bone sparrow. The concept seemed an interesting one so I was hoping to read this a bit later down the line, but this book is in such high demand it got bumped up in my queue. For good reason it would seem.
Set in a refugee detention centre in Australia, the story follows Subhi and his family, Rohingya refugees from Burma. Unlike his family, Subhi was born in the detention centre and knows nothing beyond the barbed wire; the unrelenting hunger and the cruelty of the Jackets. Living his life through stories- those told about his motherland to those created with the treasures he finds- one day he meets Jimmie, a girl from the other side of the fence. And Jimmie has a story to share too.
Now, this book could have been utterly overwhelmingly depressing. The subject matter was horrendous and deeply rooted (unfortunately) in truth. I can’t help but feel ashamed at a world that stands by as this happens.
“How can people be so mean to each other when isn’t everyone just the same anyway, and why can’t anyone work that out?”
Heartbreaking. However, through Subhi’s innocent eyes we are told a story which is ultimately of hope, friendship and love in the midst of this utter horror. A fantastic story that needed (unfortunately) to be told. My favourite so far.