Alone on foreign soil

Alone on foreign soil

DAY

Afshin, 13, must flee Iran to escape military service. Alain, 13, has to leave Burundi, following the arrest of his father. Patricia, 16, has to abandon her family in Uganda because she is in love with another young woman and it is not allowed there. The destinies of these three young refugees will never cross. They nevertheless share the same dream: to have the right to live and love, freely.

Note that the book Seulsis an adaptation of the documentary film of the same title, directed by Paul Tom, produced by Picbois Productions, based on an original idea by Mylène Péthel and Julie Boisvert. 

Each year, more than 400 young minors arrive in Canada alone or without an adult by their side. Their path to a freer life, a normal life, is strewn with pitfalls. It is with enormous bravery and resilience that they wish to make Canada their land of welcome, by applying for refugee status. The novel Alonetells the story of three of these young people: Afshin, Alain and Patricia, respectively from Tehran (in Iran), Bujumbura (in Burundi) and Kampala (in Uganda).

The story of a lifetime

A necessary reading to learn to better understand the daily life and the challenges faced by newcomers, this novel should really be found in all school libraries! The story is divided into five parts in which Afshin, Alain and Patricia recount in turn the reason for their departure from their native land, their flight full of uncertainty and danger, their arrival in unknown territory and the hope that they are based on a better life. 

The author, Paul Tom, of Cambodian origin, was himself born in a refugee camp in Thailand. Mélanie Baillairgé's illustrations are perfect! They accompany the story of these three young refugees in a fair and moving way. Moreover, at the very end, the reader has the opportunity to discover where Afshin, Alain and Patricia are today.

Alone, it is heartbreaking; it hurts, it scares, but it's also full of hope, strength and beauty. 

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