This is a beautiful, vivid and deeply moving story about a refugee boy who has spent his entire life living in a detention centre.
This novel reminds us all of the importance of freedom, hope, and the power of a story to speak for anyone who's ever struggled to find a safe home. '...a special book' - Morris Gleitzman, author of the acclaimed ONCE series Born in a refugee camp, all Subhi knows of the world is that he's at least 19 fence diamonds high, the nice Jackets never stay long, and at night he dreams that the sea finds its way to his tent, bringing with it unusual treasures. And one day it brings him Jimmie. Carrying a notebook that she's unable to read and wearing a sparrow made out of bone around her neck - both talismans of her family's past and the mother she's lost - Jimmie strikes up an unlikely friendship with Subhi beyond the fence.
As he reads aloud the tale of how Jimmie's family came to be, both children discover the importance of their own stories in writing their futures.
Shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.
Zana Fraillon lives in Victoria, Australia with her husband and three sons. She worked as a primary school teacher before having children, and has had picture books and middle grade fiction published in Australia. Her debut UK novel, The Bone Sparrow was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2016 and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017.
Zana felt compelled to write The Bone Sparrow because she could not ignore the millions of people who were being forcibly displaced and the millions of children missing out on a childhood. She comments, “The Bone Sparrow was written so we remember the people behind the statistics. Those 65 million stories waiting to be told, those 33 million children wondering if their futures will ever be realised. It was written so we can find the courage to stand for humanity, and the wisdom to imagine a different world. It was written so we may all live in hope.”