Hamzat’s Journey: A Refugee Diary
Hamzat’s Journey: A Refugee Diary by Anthony Robinson and Annemarie Young, illustrated by June Allan
Writer: Anthony Robinson, Annemarie Young
Illustrator: June Allan
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (February 23, 2010)
This is the third book in the Refugee Diary series that follows the story of a boy from Chechnya. In 2001 when the territory of Chechens are under occupation of Russian forces, he was on his way to school in the capital of Grozny with two friends, the young Chechen boy stepped on a landmine and was badly injured and his two friends were killed. His leg had to be amputated, and eventually he and his father went to the U.K. for expert treatment and fitting of an artificial leg. As it was unsafe for them to return to Chechnya, the family sought asylum in the U.K., where the family is learning to adapt to their new life after the horror of living in a war zone. This poignant and at times harrowing story reveals the bravery of Hamzat and his family in facing and overcoming their circumstances to start a new life.
Using Hamzat’s story the reality of war is brought home with a mixture of photographs and watercolours, a medium used in all the books, which effective as well as informative. There is no escaping the violence of conflict in the 21st century using this imagery, although it is not too graphic for the intended audience.
Some samples of the book’s pages: