BlogJUST LIKE ME | Kirkus Reviews

JUST LIKE ME | Kirkus Reviews


By Alice Gravel; Illustrated by Elise Gravel

Release Date: September 24, 2019

Direct and simple acquaintance with the meaning of being a refugee, accompanied by glimpses into the lives of real refugees.

Described wisely throughout the book as people with different skin tones; With black, brown, blond or red hair; At a young age or older; And with or without glasses, headgear or facial hair, refugees are portrayed and described as “just like you and me.” They were forced to flee their homes because of danger, although many would prefer to stay with friends and family, and are described as lucky if they found a new country where they could live a worthless life. Gravel describes war, oppression and discrimination as reasons to flee his country, but she misses natural disasters and environmental humiliation as other potential causes, and despite her repeated emphasis that refugees are “just like” readers, she emphasizes the stereotypical circumstances of refugee camps. The book ends with a fascinating collection of descriptions of refugees: children from different countries talk about their favorite things, followed by famous refugee women and men from around the world. Readers may find the one sentence that some countries “do not want to welcome more refugees” does not provide. Emphasis on “more refugees” has the potential to divert the conversation from refugee justice to justifying racist exclusion policies.

Good introduction with unfortunate miss potential.

(Information Pictures Book. 8-10)

Pub Date: September 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-593-12005-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Schwarz & Wade / Random

Review published online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus review issue: July 1, 2019

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