When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamison and Omar Mohamed
This graphic novel is heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. The story of two brothers from Somalia who have spent the majority of their lives alone in a refugee camp in Kenya. One brother is nonverbal and has several other health problems. This is the story of how they survive life in a refugee camp and how they find hope. I loved how accessible this book was. It was a quick, easy read appropriate for those around 8 years old and up. It did discuss hard truths such as days without food, but Omar always manages to come back to hope. I appreciated the focus on the importance of education and the difficulties of obtaining it. This book is a great book to help even young children gain perspective about how difficult life can be for a refugee. The one aspect I wish was different, was that the book ended as soon as Omar and Hassan are resettled. It gives the impression that once a refugee is resettled, their problems are over, which is not usually the case. I wish it had continued to tell the story of resettlement. This is definitely a book you will want to pick up.
A teacher in an inner city school describes how her school helps with the integration of students from all over the world.
Associate Director, Liz Jevtic-Somlai, was interviewed by Julie Rose on Top of Mind Podcast.
In these “Back to School” days, it is important to note that education is a vital step in self-actuation. Helping schools recognize best practices in supporting ESL is the basis of building communities full of strong and capable citizens with skills that will provide societal dividends.