An extraordinary novella with echoes of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Road; set in an otherworldly plain with hints of magical realism.
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A group of undocumented children with letters for names, are stuck living in a refugee camp, with stories to tell but no papers to prove them. As they try to forge a new family amongst themselves, they also long to keep memories of their old identities alive.
Will they be heard and believed? And what will happen to them if they aren’t?
An astonishing piece of writing that will enchant and intrigue children; perfectly pitched at a 9+ readership.
Heartbreaking, moving tale . . . it's impossible not to be deeply touched while reading it. Child I is not an easy read, but it is an important one, and it will help children – and, for that matter, adults - consider those who are less fortunate than them.
Child I gains in universality to become more of a fable than a novel. He is clearly moved not only by the suffering, but also – despite everything - the creativity, the need to belong, to be nurtured, the longing to laugh and play. Above all, the generosity and compassion these children show towards each other. Such are the qualities which may well remain in the thoughts of readers of Child I.
My heart broke reading this beautifully written book.