Orion Children’s Books, part of Hachette Children’s Books, is marking the release of Zana Fraillon’s refugee novel The Bone Sparrow through a charity partnership with Book Aid International.
Through a campaign called ‘a book for a book’, Orion and Bookaid will donate a book to a refugee child for every copy of The Bone Sparrow that is sold.
Hachette will donate a range of children’s books every three months, with the first shipment going to the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya in December 2016 via another partner, The Windle Trust.
“We are proud to be partnering with Orion Children’s Books, one of our long-term publisher supporters on this important campaign,” said Alison Tweed, director of Book Aid International. “We have supported libraries in refugee camps in Kenya for many years and for many of the camps’ inhabitants, these libraries represent the only chance to read, to learn and to progress in education."
The Bone Sparrow, published this month, is about Rohingya refugees in Australia. The story is told through the eyes of Subhi, a young refugee who has spent his entire life living in a detention centre after his mother fled her homeland, and was inspired by the stories the author heard about real-life refugees.
The number of refugees hit a record high last year and there are now 65m displaced people in the world, according to the UN.
Fraillon said: “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.”
Orion also worked with Amnesty and schools across London to find out what the word ‘refugee’ means to students.
One pupil said a refugee is “a person lost in war and conflict, emotionally and physically”, whilst another said: “Refugee makes me feel worried and reminds me of the conflict happening in Syria. So many lives have been ruined or lost and this is a very negative word. It also reminds me of the referendum and our decision to leave might be bad for refugees.”
The Bone Sparrow is published this month in hardback, priced at £12.99.