Monday 1 August 2011

In the Sea there are Crocodiles

In the Sea there are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda and Enaiatollah Akbari (Random House)
HB RRP $24.95
ISBN 978-1-4464-0072-2
Reviewed by Oliver Phommavanh

In the Sea there are Crocodiles is the true story of Enaiatollah Akbari melded into a gentle narrative by Fabio Geda. It tells the tale of how Enaiatollah, an Afghan kid travelled from Afghanistan to Italy over five years.

This is a book is proof that it’s not the destination, it’s the ride. And Enaiatollah goes one amazing journey. One day, he finds that his mother has gone. He’s looking for a place to belong. His travels to Europe take him to Iran, Turkey and Greece. He’s trying to earn enough to survive and push onwards to the next place.

Enaiatollah deals with people-traffickers, corrupt police officers and harsh labourers, working undercover in many building sites. He builds friendships with other asylum seeking kid but never feels settled for long. Readers will admire his courage to move and go on life-threatening trips, inspired by nothing but hope.

Geda makes sure that Enaiatollah’s story is honest without being brutally descriptive. Like Enaiatollah says in his many interviews that break up the story, he doesn’t remember much of the finer details. It’s the people and their actions that stand out.
There are countless moments where Enaiatollah gets into some truly dangerous situations. But he never gives up. This book offers a moving insight to what an asylum seeker will go through to find a better life. There are enough tender scenes to stir your heart. The flashback storytelling with some reflective commentary works quite well.

In the Sea there are Crocodiles is a great book about refugees for kids. It’s also for anyone who wants to go on a thrilling adventure. The fact that’s it’s a true story only makes it more exciting and remarkable. It’s recommended for ages 12 and up.       

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