Rachel’s Story is part of the ‘Seeking Refuge’ series of books and is a little different to the other picture story books we have reviewed so far. These books are “real-life testimonials of young refugees fleeing their homelands” and they offer a unique insight into a life we have little grasp of.
Rachel’s Story is about life as a Christian in a non-Christian country in Eurasia. Rachel and her family are outcast and in great danger because of their religious views. They take enormous risks to flee the country, but even when they think they have found safety, there are plenty more struggles ahead. The themes are obviously quite challenging, but it is told in Rachel’s own words, so there is nothing too confronting for young children.
Why I love it:
I love this book, because I strongly believe the more we understand the issues faced by people like Rachel and her family, the more kind we will be. This book is a great reminder that no matter where we are born and where we live, we are all the same; we want the same things and we have the same right to freedom and safety. I genuinely believe that if we can raise our own children with a sense of this, the world will be in better hands when they grow older.
Themes to discuss with your child:
- Human rights
- How fortunate we are in Australia
- How alike we all are
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- How do you think the girl on the cover is feeling?
- Who do you think the three people in shadow are?
- Was this book fiction or fact?
- How did the story make you feel?
- How would you have felt if you were Rachel?
- What do you think was the scariest thing that happened to Rachel and her family?
- Why do you think the illustrator drew the ‘big men’ so big?
- Do you think what happened to Rachel and her family is fair? Talk to me about it.
- What does Rachel want to be when she grows older?
- Why does she want to be this?
- How do you think Rachel is feeling at the end of the story?
- How do you think Rachel’s parents are feeling?
- Would you like to read other books in this series? Why/Why not?
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