Salih by Inda Ahmad Zahri
Inda Ahmad Zahri (2021)
Salih is a story of hope and empathy. A young child with a backpack full of belongings and her memories, flees her war-torn home. We learn of her sadness and wishes, and the different ways that people cope with trauma. Her journey is long and frightening. Salih and her fellow refugees do not know what will meet them when they finally reach their destination. They cannot be certain that there will be someone who can understand them and the challenges they have faced.
This is a beautifully illustrated picture story book that can help young children understand some of the experiences that other children around the world face. It is a gateway book to a global understanding and can be a fabulous tool to develop our young global citizens. The reader has an opportunity to make connections with the lovely things that Salih remembers, and is then asked to consider the changes that Salih has faced due to war.
This book is rich with imagery: “By the time we reach the sea, I am jangling like a potioneer.” and metaphor: “The sea is angry for the homes we’ve lost.” As a teacher, this book is the perfect mentor text for teaching a range of comprehension strategies including prediction and inferring. It’s also an excellent model for writing traits such as the supreme word choice e.g. ‘stomachs lurch’, ‘feet thrum’. At Year Two this text could be introduced as a challenging text where considerable rereads and teacher support might be necessary. It would also be appropriate for the Middle and Senior Years of Primary School.
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As a lover of books and a teacher, I read widely. Here you will find book reviews of many genres including picture story, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, women's fiction, short story anthologies, non-fiction and anything else that takes my fancy.