Azzi in between

Sarah Garland

Book - 2012

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Subjects
Genres
Graphic novels
Published
London : Frances Lincoln Children's 2012.
Language
English
Physical Description
1 v. : col. ill. ; 27 cm
ISBN
9781847802613
Main Author
Sarah Garland (-)
Review by Booklist Review

Azzi's life is turned upside down when she and her parents have to flee their home in the middle of the night to escape a war. The story begins in an unnamed, war-ravaged city, probably in Europe, and then shifts to an unnamed, English-speaking one. Azzi's new life is marked by the typical adjustments that refugees make as they seek safety: language barriers, social isolation, geographical unfamiliarity, and the occasional kindness of strangers. For Azzi, the worst part is that her grandmother stayed behind. She misses her dreadfully and stays awake at night worrying. A teacher, a friend, and a school gardening project solidify Azzi's place in her new community, and a happy surprise ending resolves all prior conflicts. Though a picture book, the comic-book format makes this suitable for intermediate readers as well. Garland makes the most out of a crisp, clear watercolor palette and simple lines to effectively capture her character's recognizable and easily relatable emotions.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-"There was a country at war, and that is where this story begins." Thus starts a tale that is both universal and specific, in which Azzi, a sweet and unique little girl serves as an everychild representing all refugees. The narrative follows her family's escape, arduous journey, and difficulties settling into their new land and ends with hope for a peaceful and loving new life. The countries are never named and the peoples' ethnicities not specified, allowing the focus to remain squarely on the realistic emotional dynamics. The story is told simply and touchingly in an approachable way that will evoke empathy in young readers. This is as much an effect of the graphic-novel style illustrations as of the text; both elements combine to create a reassuring atmosphere for the serious topic. The felt-tip and watercolor artwork echoes the friendly style of Aliki or Anita Lobel, even in the scenes of Azzi's war-torn homeland. There are no depictions of graphic violence, just a general sense of disruption and displacement. This book should be widely shared. Adults will have to judge whether younger readers are ready for it, and may have to help older readers to accept it, but this beautifully told, emotionally true story is worth promoting.-Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

Though given a British setting, this sensitive tale of a young war refugee slowly adapting to a new life will strike chords of sympathy and recognition almost anywhere. A hasty nighttime departure with her parents leads to a long ride in a motor launch crowded with other refugees. In "the new country," Azzi finds herself living with her parents in a one-room flat, going to a school where she doesn't speak the language and pining for her left-behind grandmother. Her feelings of isolation are soon eased by Sabeen, an adult classroom helper who speaks her language and teaches her English phrases, and Lucy, a friendly classmate. Azzi in turn helps her parents settle in by sharing newly learned words and also by planting a handful of the beans her father had brought in her class' summer garden. In time, her father receives a work permit that allows a move to a small house, and, joy of joys, her grandmother arrives to reunite the family. In Garland's sequential panels, Azzi's subdued emotional landscape is clearly mapped in her body language, occasional tears and sweet smile. Her city of origin is never specified, freeing the sharply felt anxiety and life-altering disruption she and her parents experience from particular locales or wars. A positive but not blandly idealized portrayal of challenges displaced people face. (Graphic picture book. 7-9)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.