Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration by George Butler

Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Jan. 28, 2022 #ReadYourWorld

Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration

George Butler, Author and Illustrator

Candlewick, Nonfiction, Mar. 16, 2021

Suitable for ages: 10-17

Themes: Human migration, Migrants, Refugees, Poverty, War, True stories, Art

Book Jacket Synopsis:

From a celebrated documentary artist, twelve portraits from the front lines of migration form an intimate record of why people leave behind the places they call home.

“It is an unusual feeling to walk into a place that everyone is leaving . . .”

Resisting his own urge to walk away, award-winning artist George Butler took his sketchbook and made, over the course of a decade, a series of remarkable pen-and-ink and watercolor portraits in war zones, refugee camps, and on the move. While he worked, his subjects—migrants and refugees in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia—shared their stories. Theirs are the human stories behind the headlines that tell of fleeing poverty, disaster, and war, and of venturing into the unknown in search of jobs, education, and security. Whether sketching by the hospital bed of a ten-year-old Syrian boy who survived an airstrike, drawing the doll of a little Palestinian girl with big questions, or talking with a Masai herdsman forced to abandon his rural Kenyan home for the Kibera slums, George Butler turns reflective art and sensitive reportage into an eloquent cry for understanding and empathy. Taken together and elegantly packaged, his beautiful portraits form a moving testament to our shared humanity—and the universal urge for safety and a better life.

Why I like this book:

George Butler takes readers on a fascinating journey into human migration and the many reasons people leave their homes and countries.  Butler travels to 12 countries from 2012-2018, where he interviews and sketches refugees who are suffering and starving as they flee war zones and corrupt regimes, or are leaving rural areas to seek better employment opportunities in the cities for their families. The result is this powerful book. 

Butler beautifully captures the humanity behind migration with his daunting spare ink and watercolor illustrations. There is emotion and compassion in each drawing as he witnesses incredible hardship and shares it with readers. Each illustration is a moment frozen in time: Syrian children playing in burnt-out government tanks in the town square; a crowded train of men traveling from Tajikistan to Moscow to work in construction and send money home; a smiling Iraqi girl standing in line for food at a refugee camp in northern Greece; and a defeated Afghani translator for the U.S. Army in Kandahar, combatting the penetrating cold by burning railway ties with thousands of refugees in Belgrade. They have faces, names and their dignity.

Make sure you check out the Butler’s introduction which gives readers insight into what he wants them to think about migration as we move further into this current decade. This is an excellent book for middle grade and high school students.  

George Butler is an award-winning artist and illustrator specializing in current affairs. His ink and watercolor drawings are made in situ in war zones, refugee camps, and disaster areas all over the world. His work, including coverage of the Syrian Civil war, has been published by The Times (London), the BBC, the New York Times, and more, and it has been exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He is the cofounder of the Hands Up Foundation, which has raised of £4 million to support the salaries of professionals in Syria.

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for a review. 

I AM A MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY REVIEWER

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 (1/28/22) is in its 9th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.

MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

MCBD 2022 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

SUPER PLATINUM: Make A Way Media

PLATINUM: Language Lizard

GOLD: Barefoot Books, KidLitTV, Candlewick, Capstone, Abrams Books

SILVER: Pack-n-Go Girls, Charlotte Riggle, Kimberly Gordon Biddle  

BRONZE: Carole P. Roman, Patrice McLaurin, Dyesha and Triesha McCants/McCants Squared, Redfin.com, Redfin Canada, Redfin Mortgage, Redfin/Title Forward, Create & Educate, Star Bright Books, Vivian Kirkfield, Dr. Eleanor Wint, Kind World Publishing, Snowflake Stories, Lisa Wee, SONGJU MA, Melissa Stoller, J.C. Kato and J.C.², Crystel Patterson, Audrey Press, Pragmaticmom, TimTimTom, Wisdom Tales 

MCBD 2022 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!

Charlene Mosley (official MCBD2022 Poster Creator)
Illustrator Isabelle Roxas (Class Kit Poster Creator)

Alva Sachs, Brianna Carter, Ebony Zay Zay, Rita Bhandari, Gwen Jackson, Lois Petren/The 5 Enchanted Mermaids, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Josh Funk, Afsaneh Moradian, Eugenia Chu, Maritza Martínez Mejía, Diana Huang, Kathleen Burkinshaw, CultureGroove, Sandra Elaine Scott, Dorena Williamson, Veronica Appleton, Alejandra Domenzain, Lauren Muskovitz and Sandfish Publishing, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Kimberly Lee, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Nancy Tupper Ling, Winsome Hudson-Bingham, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Sivan Hong, Michael Genhart, Debbie Dadey, Elizabeth Cureton, Stephanie Wildman, Maryann Jacob, Sherri Maret, Rochelle Melander, Dia Mixon, Kiyanda and Benjamin Young, Shereen Rahming, Linda Thornburg and Katherine Archer,  Rebecca Flansburg and BA Norrgard , Maxine Schur  Natalie McDonald-Perkins

MCBD 2022 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!

MCBD 2022 is Honored to be Supported by these Media Partners!

Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents

Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Empathy Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Kindness Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Poverty Kit

FREE Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit

FREE Teacher Classroom Raising Awareness on Systemic Racism in America Classroom Kit

Gallery of Our Free Posters

FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program

Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party! Be sure and follow MCBD and Make A Way Media on Twitter!  We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **

Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter!

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.               

 

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

22 thoughts on “Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration by George Butler

  1. This sounds like a such a powerful and important book that can help us all understand the hardships people face that force them to move to another country. And FYI just got the book out at the library that you recommended last week. Can’t wait to read it.

    Like

  2. I agree with Natalie that this is an important book. I am currently reading The Beekeeper of Aleppo, a book that shows the despair and difficulty of leaving a war-torn country and moving to a new place that never really feels like home. Books like this help those of us, children and adults, who have never had to deal with this situation a better understanding.

    Like

    • I read a lot of immigration books, but haven’t gotten to the Beekeeper of Aleppo. Young readers have a better understanding of migration and refugees because of books like your reading and the book I shared. They see refugee kids in their classrooms. Our church has been successfully sponsoring a refugee family of eight for four years, so I’ve also been involved.

      Like

  3. We need these books, these stories, these brave people who travel into trouble so they can tell the stories no one else is telling. Thank you for sharing this one.

    Like

    • As the author was traveling into Syria, refugees were leaving in the opposite direction. He’s a writer, artist and humanitarian. I am so glad that he shared stories that readers need to hear.

      Like

  4. Perfect choice for the upcoming Multicultural Children’s Book Day. It’s books like these that we get a deeper understanding of the migration issue. I hope to take a look at this one myself very soon. Thanks for featuring on MMGM!

    Like

    • It is important today and relevant in the future. People have been migrating for a long time for a variety of reasons. And we don’t know what will happen in the future with climate change and the impacts that are being felt worldwide that effect the food chain, water levels, and so on. This book is also for adults.

      Like

  5. Wow—this sounds like an incredibly impactful book, and I’m surprised I hadn’t seen it before! The depictions of real experiences seem horrifying and beautiful and necessary. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review, Patricia!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s