A Grain of Hope
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A Grain of Hope

Nicola Philp, Aldy Aguirre

A picture book about refugees and animals that will make you catch your breath on the last page.

There are millions of refugees around the world and many are held in detention centres for years, including children. In recent times, it feels as if the world’s refugee crisis has become a political issue instead of a humanitarian one.

With haunting echoes of contemporary society’s treatment of refugees, A Grain of Hope is a dual story on facing pages of a dog called Dok and a refugee girl named Hanan. Both are escaping unsafe lives and their stories mirror each other until the end when one ends happily and the other is still unfinished. It opens discussion about compassion and hope with older readers, from the ages of 8 to adult.

The beautiful, watercolour and pen illustrations by Aldy Aguirre are a beautiful accompaniment to a hard hitting, but necessary, story which questions society’s willingness to sometimes assist animals quicker than we assist humans. It is suitable for classroom use with facts provided about refugees at the end of the book and a wealth of moral, social, financial and ethical concerns to be discussed. More information is available at Nicola’s website to assist with such discussions.

A Grain of Hope will keep you thinking, long after the end cover is closed.

“This is a charming book. I hope every child gets to read it. With its beautiful illustrations, it traces the parallel stories of a puppy and a child where their lives are disrupted by fear and misery.It show clearly that puppies are treated better than children are when things go wrong in their lives.It is a story for our times.It is a story which may lead our children to behave with more compassion that we in Australia have shown in recent years. It is a story to help us understand.” – Julian Burnside, AO, QC

“A poignant story of sadness understood by those of us who are working to change the outcome of the Australian Government’s shameful treatment of men, women and children who seek our protection.” – Marie Sellstrom, National President Rural Australians for Refugees.

“A cry from the heart. This beautiful book lays bare the complete absence of compassion in our offshore detention regime.” – Dr Richard Di Natale, Leader of the Australian Greens & Senator for Victoria (less)

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