How to Befriend a Butterfly 06/08/20
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Child I thinks it's their birthday. They can't be certain, because none of the adults in the camp are really sure what date it is, but they decide now is the right time to tell their story.
This heartbreaking, moving tale follows the unaccompanied children and volunteers living in a refugee camp and it's impossible not to be deeply touched while reading it.
Every event in the book has really happened to people in a refugee camp, bringing intense poignancy to stories of children picking out breadcrumbs from the mud and searching through rubbish tips for toys.
Even in the darkest of circumstances, they're still children – which can make the events of the novel even harder to bear.
Steve Tasane's spare prose is the perfect way to tell the story, and even though none of the children in the book have names, their personalities shine through – from I's endlessly good nature and constant requests to play to V's stubborn, bold and loveable feistiness.
Child I is not an easy read, but it is an important one, and it will help children – and, for that matter, adults - consider those who are less fortunate than them.