May 26, 2017

Where Will I Live?

Written by Rosemary McCarney
Second Story Press 
978-1-77260-028-5
24 pp.
Ages 5-9
April 2017

The loveliness of this young girl's face masks the concern for her fate.  As with all refugees, the question of Where Will I Live? is a monumental one, though based on the simple human necessity for shelter and safety.  Shamefully, while many of us are striving for bigger and better in our homes, there are many who just want someplace they might find lodging and sanctuary.  This is the story that Rosemary McCarney tells in her empathetic text below the powerful images of photographs taken for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
Photograph UNHCR/Mark Henley 
from Where Will I Live? 
by Rosemary McCarney
From terrifying scenes of fleeing in the darkness or facing armed soldiers, these families set to their journeys by various means–on foot, in trucks, by boat–over all manner of terrain and water, in all kinds of weather, looking for some place to rest and inhabit.  It might be under stairs or in a city of tents or in the middle of the street.  It might be alone or amongst countless others.  Photographs of children show them watching, waiting, enduring, hoping for someone to say, "Welcome home." Few words are needed to tell the plight of those in Jordan, Rwanda, Lebanon and elsewhere when the photographs, taken by Sebastian Rich, Mark Henley, Andrew McConnell, Shawn Baldwin, Ivor Prickett, and more, expose the desperation of the refugees in all the rawness of their circumstances.
Photograph UNHCR/Andrew McConnell
from Where Will I Live? 
by Rosemary McCarney

Rosemary McCarney, formerly of Plan International Canada and currently Canada's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament, has penned numerous books for children that emphasize social justice themes (e.g., Every Day is Malala Day; Being MeTilt Your Head, Rosie the Red; Because I am a Girl I Can Change the World).  Where Will I Live? supports that same theme by focusing on the plight of many who are ripped from their homes by war and terror and seeking refuge, supported by the photographic evidence of their struggles to find home.  Yet from beginning to end, Rosemary McCarney offers a message about the resiliency of children to endure their struggles and make temporary abodes wherever and whenever necessary until they can find a forever home, thus making Where Will I Live?  a telling story that goes beyond loss and into the realm of hope.
Photograph UNHCR/Shawn Baldwin
from Where Will I Live? 
by Rosemary McCarney

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