Reviews for Gervelie's Journey : A Refugee Diary

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 April

Gr 3-5--A young refugee describes her birthplace, Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, where she lived peacefully with her family until she was two. When fighting broke out in 1997, she escaped with her father to the coastal town of Pointe Noire. In 1999, when her dad's life was threatened, he fled to the Ivory Coast, and Gervelie returned to Brazzaville to live with her mum and abusive stepfather. Next she went to the Ivory Coast to live with her grandmother. In 2001, when war broke out there, Gervelie and her father escaped to Europe and then, in 2003, illegally entered England and sought asylum. In 2004, the Refugee Council gave them a house, Gervelie started school, and they began to make a new, yet uncertain, life. What the child wants most is to be permitted to stay in England and to always feel safe. Captioned photographs and paintings on a textured background suggest an album or scrapbook. The authors interviewed Gervelie and her father, and took the photos for the book. They tell her story through her voice in a series of double-page, dated diary entries that clearly document events and express her sorrows and fears. Endnotes list facts about the Republic of Congo and a brief outline of the political unrest that resulted in the fighting that forced Gervelie and her father to flee. This is a good introduction to the plight of refugees seeking asylum and the many obstacles they must overcome to re-build their lives.--Carolyn Angus, Claremont Graduate University, CA

[Page 124]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.