Our new campaign in the Black Country hosted a winter festival for local schools inviting authors virtually into their classrooms, including an exclusive visit for refugee families from bestselling author A.M. Dassu.
The festival, programmed in partnership with Sandwell Libraries, included authors Serena Patel and Kate Wakeling, who were joined by local school children aged 7-11. 15 refugee families were invited to an exclusive session with A.M Dassu, author of Boy, Everywhere - a story which follows a child’s journey from Syria to the UK. Every child who attended the event received a free copy of the book and 30 additional copies were donated to Thimblemill Library for distribution to local schools.
Thimblemill Library is the UK’s first library of sanctuary and actively welcomes those who are fleeing conflict and persecution. Author A.M. Dassu wrote the book with the hope to, “challenge stereotypes and break down barriers in our society. In a world where we are told to see refugees as the “other,” I hope you will agree that ‘they’ are also ‘us'.”
Many of the children who joined the event have lived through similar experiences to those explored in Boy, Everywhere, which is especially salient for families with experience of seeking refuge.
A.M Dassu shared her top tips for story writing and the children asked questions about the inspiration behind the book
“It was wonderful to share Boy, Everywhere with children who have been through similar experiences themselves. It can be difficult for some children to find books and characters they can relate to so I hope that Sami's story will inspire these young people to fall in love with reading and the countless benefits that come with it, and possibly even to write their own story one day.”A.M. Dassu