The Bone Sparrow

Zana Fraillon

The Bone Sparrow
Nick Hern Books
United Kingdom
10 March 2022

The Bone Sparrow

Zana Fraillon

Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the fences is all he’s ever known. Now his imagination is pushing at the limits of his world.

One day, Jimmie appears on the other side of the fence, bringing a notebook written by the mother she lost. Unable to read it, she relies on Subhi to unravel her own family’s mysterious and moving history. Together, Subhi and Jimmie must find a way to freedom, and they must be braver than they’ve ever been before…

The Bone Sparrow, Zana Fraillon’s powerful and deeply moving novel about the displacement and treatment of refugees and sanctuary seekers, has been widely read and studied around the world since its publication in 2017.

This enthralling stage adaptation by award-winning Australian playwright S. Shakthidharan was first produced on a UK tour in 2022 by Pilot Theatre with York Theatre Royal, Derby Theatre, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, and Mercury Theatre Colchester.

Also included is a range of teaching materials and resources designed to help educators bring the play to life for their students.

Praise for the novel, The Bone Sparrow:

‘With an affecting and distinctive narrative voice… [Zana Fraillon] builds a convincing and complete world. Moving and memorable, The Bone Sparrow deserves to be read by all who care about our common humanity’ Guardian

‘A heartrending tale about how our stories make us, and also an angry polemic, vividly convincing in its detailed description of what it means for your home to be a tent in the dust behind a guarded fence’ Sunday Times

‘This is a tragic, beautifully crafted and wonderful book whose chirpy, stoic hero shames us all’ Independent

Winner of the Amnesty CILIP Honour Award

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Award and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize

‘Powerful… such stories are as necessary as ever’
- Guardian

‘Powerful and moving… the writing soul-shakingly communicates the truthfulness of the characters’ experiences’
- Observer

‘A timely reminder of our unseeing cruelty towards those forced out of their homes by war, genocide, or other atrocities’
- British Theatre Guide

Amnesty CILIP Honour Award

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