Wisp: A Story of Hope

Publisher: Orchard

Review

Idris lives in a refugee camp which is full of people, but where everyone is alone. There are no rivers or seas to swim in and no trees to give shade. One day, a tiny, bright wisp appears in the dirt: an insect-size glowing light that, when it finds the right person, fills them with a memory of their life before the refugee camp: a memory that gives them just a little hope once again.

One night, when the wisp settles before Idris, he waits for it to give him a memory, but none appears: he has never lived anywhere but the refugee camp, so it can’t give him a memory. Instead, it gives him something else: a promise.

Grahame Baker Smith’s haunting and immersive illustration is perfect for this heartbreaking story of hope in the darkest of places; among the deep black and blues come splashes of sunshiny forests and jewelled seas sailed by adventurous sailors.

Zana Fraillon is the author of The Bone Sparrow, a book for older readers about refugee children, and in this picture book she gives younger readers a sense of the plight of refugees, too, but with a carefully measured balance of hope and memory.

Share this page with your friends

More books like this

Owen and the Soldier

Author: Lisa Thompson Illustrator: Mike Lowery

A beautiful tale of a courageous young man who overcomes his fears when he finds an unlikely companion in a park statue. Complex ideas of young carers, social anxiety and remembrance are sensitively weaved into a light and accessible story.

Read more about Owen and the Soldier

The Maker of Monsters

Author: Lorraine Gregory Illustrator: Meg Hunt

With some terrifyingly monstrous creations chasing the story to its exciting conclusion, and a scatter of humour throughout, this is a must-read for those who love adventure and nail-biting suspense, and need to believe in the hero within.

Read more about The Maker of Monsters