The Unwanted

h1 August 9th, 2018 by jules

“In 2016, the European Union and Turkey decide refugees sneaking into Greece by boat from Turkey will be returned to Turkey. The Europeans promise to resettle officially registered Syrians from Turkish camps, a tiny fraction of all the refugees in Turkey.”


As a follow-up to my Kirkus Q&A last week with Don Brown, I’ve some art today from The Unwanted: Stories of Syrian Refugees (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 2018).

Until tomorrow. …


(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge)


“Ignoring the hardships, Bushra, a young mother,
crosses the Lebanese border in the middle of the night with her two small children.”


“But Europe’s — and the world’s — ‘love’ buckles beneath the huge exodus.
Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon weary of the drain of food, electricity, and water by the refugees. They complain Syrians steal jobs. Most of the patients in Turkish hospitals are Syrians. Jordan’s and Lebanon’s economies stumble at the cost of taking in so many new residents. Lebanese curse the Syrians.”


“An eighteen-year-old girl finds a smuggler to lead her and her younger brother
and sister out of Syria to Turkey.”



* * * * * * *

THE UNWANTED: STORIES OF THE SYRIAN REFUGEES. Copyright © 2018 by Don Brown. Illustrations used by permission of the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, and Don Brown.

2 comments to “The Unwanted

  1. When it comes to hard topics, it is almost impossible to figure out what kind of art one should pair with it. (The book Betsy reviewed the other day on whiteness with the collages comes to mind – did that seem too lighthearted? Too silly?) These illustrations are PERFECT. They’re… blurred, in a way, specific, but not too detailed, the palette is overwhelmingly muted, with distinct deepening for effect — and the eyes tell the story — wide, scared, narrowed, threat-filled — The illustrations just fit so well.

  2. I’ve got that book Betsy wrote about and need to give it my full attention. I do like that series.

    I think Don’s book is such an achievement — and done with such compassion.

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