A gripping story of one child’s experience of the refugee crisis in Myanmar. The men come at night. The first Hasina knows of it is her aunt’s voice, urgent,full of fear.’Up, up.Get up! ‘The second thing is smoke.Then there is a scream.’Run,’ her father shouts. ‘And don’t stop!’
Hasina races deep into the Rakhine forest to hide with her cousin Ghadiya and her little brother, Araf. When they emerge some days later, it is to a silent, smouldering village. Their own house has not been burnt down,but where are the rest of her family?Perhaps they have been gathered up and taken away … or worse.
So many Rohingyas are gone, how will she survive? Will her parents return? Hasina must find the courage to save her family amid the escalating conflict that threatens her world and her identity.
Hasina is written by Michelle Aung Thin who tells this story, based on real life, with immense feeling and with the real sense of a child’s helplessness, in fear but still retaining courage and hope. Michelle is a novelist, essayist and an academic and this book written for children and young adults shows her ability to reach out to all.
There are excellent teacher notes available for school use only on Michelle’s website to accompany Hasina and would fit with curriculum across the world for ages 11-14 years.
Allen and Unwin are the publishers and Hasina joins one of my favourite series, Through My Eyes, which recount world crisis and tragedies through the eyes of children and young people.
As I write this we are in a lock-down, in the Covid 19 period in the UK. Unable to do my usual travels I have really enjoyed this amazing book and maybe I should travel to Burma/Myanmar soon?