Title: Refugee Boy
Author: Benjamin Zephaniah
Page Count/Review Word Count: 304
I picked this book up in a charity shop because Benjamin Zephaniah is one of the authors where I’m trying to read everything he’s ever written. I didn’t remember until I got home that I’d hated Gangsta Rap so much that I gave up on it and removed Zephaniah from my list.
But I’m glad that I gave him another chance, because this was pretty good. Oh, it wasn’t high literature or anything like that, but it was a thought-provoking piece of young adult fiction that’s arguably more timely now than it was when it was first published, thanks to the current situation in Afghanistan.
It basically follows a young lad called Alem whose parents are from Ethiopia and Eritrea, which were at war. I particularly liked the opening two chapters, which basically were exact duplicates and showed the same thing happening in both companies. Unsure of what to do to keep his son safe and sound, his father takes him to the UK and then leaves him there in the hope that he’ll be able to seek asylum.