Refugee Boy

Refugee Boy

  • Submitted By: eddiearisaig
  • Date Submitted: 09/04/2011 12:30 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1210
  • Page: 5
  • Views: 300

‘Refugee Boy’ 16/06/11

‘Refugee Boy’ is a fictional novel written by Benjamin Zephaniah. The book is based around immigration and those closely affected by it. Some of the main issues that Zephaniah brings up in the book include racism, politics, power and courage. The simple yet exciting plot line follows the lives of Alem Kelo, and his family who flee to Britain because their home countries are at war. Zephaniah writes about Alem’s sad story as he fights for freedom in this alien country. This breathtaking book makes you think about refugees in a completely different way as Alem struggles to live in a new country with a new family.

The main character in ‘Refugee Boy’ is a young boy called Alem who has fled his country of origin Ethiopia because of growing war between Ethiopia and its neighbouring country Eritrea. As a result of Alem's mother being from Eritrea and his from Ethiopia, his family are not accepted in either country. Alem's mixed heritage and his families mixed marriage means they are firstly driven from their home in Ethiopia by the local police, “You are a traitor…leave Ethiopia or die.” And then they face prejudice in Eritrea, “You are a traitor…leave Eritrea or die.” They have nowhere else to go so his father takes him to Britain so that he could leave him there, trusting in the UK care for war refugees. Alem does receive care from Britain. After his father leaves him at the hotel, the owner contacts the Refugee Council and Social Services who arrange for Alem to be taken into care, first in a horrible children's home and later with an extremely welcoming, kind and supportive foster family. And as you can imagine, Alem needs all the support he can get. He's barely a teenager, English is his second language, he misses his parents dreadfully and has to live in fear of what will happen to them in the war. Alem has much to bear but he bears it all with calmness and composure. He's a quiet, intelligent and obedient child and...

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