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

Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration by George Butler. Candlewick Studio, 9781536217759, 2021

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

 What did you like about the book? This book is created by artist George Butler who has travelled the world documenting people and events. As a reporter would use words to tell a story, Butler uses his illustrations. This book does provide some text, but the illustrations tell the story as well. Butler has spent time in places that most people are leaving– war zones, refugee camps, and people fleeing their homes due to violence. Instead of seeking refuge himself, Butler decided to capture their stories through his illustrations. This book features stories from Kenya, Syria, Lebanon, and Myanmar, just to name a few places. Through his experience, he was able to talk with a family fleeing Syria, a young man in Tajikistan whose father was killed in the civil war, a geography teacher who lost her job because she would not join the Ba’ath Party, and a young boy named Ibrahim who lost both of his parents. Butler notes that Ibrahim wants to be either a policeman or a doctor when he grows up so he can either protect or heal the people he loves. Through the text and the illustrations, Butler is able to capture the tragedies and triumphs of people all around the world trying to flee violence and destruction and have a better life.

His illustrations show children playing in a burned-out tank, people waiting in line for meager food rations, refugees huddled near open fires trying to stay warm, and people peering out from behind prison bars. The illustrations are so detailed that the reader really needs to take some time to absorb every detail of this wonderful book.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing.

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for middle and high school aged children. 

Who should buy this book? Public and school libraries, perfect for a social studies classroom.

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: April 16, 2021

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