Monday, 31 October 2011

Refugee Boy

The book Refugee Boy follows the story of a boy named Alem after he has been shipped to London because of the war in his country.
While I can certainly understand the opinions of this book and the plot wasn't too convoluted and was easily followed, I just didn't find the story believable.
Refugee Boy is a book that is based on events that do happen in real life. I know these things occur, but the way Benjamin Zephaniah placed the events just didn't seem believable to me.
For example, the main character Alem seems to speak like a robot. He says, "I like the school very much. It is very good. It is full with possibilities. I think the facilities are good. The building is structurally sound and I think that the students here have a great opportunity to advance physically, intellectually and socially."
In addition, in my experience people don't make friends within an hour of coming to a new school. I could address other points but for now I will give it 50 out of 100.

Jay Writes -
Luke and I really disagree on this one. Luke found it hard to accept that a father would leave his son in London alone, and struggled with the formal language common to non-native English speakers. I thought much of the detail insightful and authentic. However, like Luke I felt the book was very flawed - which rather disappointed me as I love Benjamin Zephaniah. For me, Alem was such a paragon that I found him hard to take seriously. I wish he'd sometimes been bad, or expressed anger, or done something petty or stupid. As it was, he felt more like a mechanism for Zephaniah to make a point than a realistic character.

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