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Gervelie's Journey: a Refugee Diary by…

Gervelie's Journey: a Refugee Diary

by Anthony Robinson, June Allan (Illustrator), Annemarie Young

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09-10 (1) Africa (4) biographies (2) biography (1) diary (1) empathy (3) England (2) family (1) father (1) fathers (1) fiction (1) hiding (1) immigration (2) journey (1) mothers (1) moved (1) moving (2) non-fiction (2) picture book (4) PO B0089 (1) R&R (1) refugee (2) refugees (4) struggle (1) suffering (1) travel (2) traveling (1) UK (1) war (3) z1 (1)



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This book is the true story of Gervelie’s life as she moves all across Africa and finally to England. She tells the story in first person as she writes in her diary. Having been born in 1995 in the Republic of Congo, Gervelie and her family are split apart in 1997 when the Cobra militia attacks their city. For years Gervelie moves many different times due to violence and unsafe areas. For a short time she lives with her mother, step father and little sister, but is ultimately taken from them because of the violence and attacks in their city. Gervelie moves with her father from the Republic of Congo, to the Ivory Coast, Ghana, across Europe and finally to England. Throughout her childhood, Gervelie travels through many different homes and schools. She never hears from her mother or baby sister again. Ultimately, Gervelie and her father make a home for themselves in Norwich, England, but are always fearful that they may have to move again. Gervelie is hopeful that she will grow up and get to see her family again, but tries to concentrate on her future. She hopes to one day get to travel to America, but she’s just happy to finally be safe.

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I really liked that this was a true story and that it was written in Gervelie’s own words. I also liked that it was written in a diary style writing, hence the title ‘Gervelie’s Journey – A Refugee Diary.’ I think this makes the story feel more real for children because they will get a first person perspective from reading this book. As a child, my favorite books were always books that resembled other children’s diaries because I felt like they seemed more authentic and real. I really enjoyed Gervelie’s story because it not only told me about her and her family, but what it was like living through violent war times in Africa. I also felt that I could connect to the story better because the book consisted of illustrations, but also real life photographs of Gervelie, her family and the violence she witnessed. I think this story would benefit children because it’s a nice timeline of events that’s easy to follow. It tells about Gervelie’s life as she travels from place to place and has to live in different homes and go to different schools. For children moving isn't always an easy process and I think any child could relate to this story for that reason. Although this story’s purpose is to tell the events of Gervelie’s life, I think it is also meant to show children that even through rough times and moving around from place to place, that eventually it’s ok to be happy and feel safe. Gervelie shows the reader that although she felt scared moving all the time and making new friends, that she was ok once she got older and realized that it was more important to be happy and feel safe in her new environment. ( )
  BrookeMattingly | Oct 7, 2014 |
The first title in the Refugee Diary series. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Gervelie's family has to flee their home in Africa because so many people are being killed there. It takes them a long time to find a place where they will be safe and allowed to stay. Gervelie faces the challenge of moving often at the same time she learns to live without her mother, who stayed behind. This is an uplifting, true story.
  scducharme | Nov 27, 2009 |
This is an excellent example of an informational book told in the words of Gervelie who was born in the Republic of Congo and then moved to the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and England as an international refugee. The book accurately describes living in Africa during times of conflict as well as moving under distressing circumstances. ( )
  ekean06 | Oct 9, 2009 |
Gervelie's Journey: A Refugee Dairy by Anthony Robinson is a great story that recounts the events that occured in Brazzaville, Repubic of Congo in 1997. The Point of view is from a young girl name Gervelie. She has been seperated from her mother and she flees the Republic of Congo to Europe to start a new life with her father. This is a great story that is really informative to young readers.
  Kchiotti | Jan 27, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Robinsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Allan, JuneIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Young, Annemariemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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With informative but accessible text, the sport is brought to life. This work offers an in-depth look at the sport, from its history and beginnings to the modern game, how it's played, who plays it and the rules that govern it. Packed with facts, stats and full-colour photographs, this is the essential guide.… (more)

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