A brief history lesson
In an effort to rescue Jewish children from the Nazi regime, the Kindertransport was created. The United Kingdom waved immigration paperwork to allow these children to escape persecution. The first Kindertransport arrived in London in 1938, bringing two hundred Jewish children from Berlin. In the nine months preceding World War II, around 10,000 children were saved from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.
Irene N. Watts was one of the children who escaped Berlin and travelled to England on a Kindertransport. Her graphic novel Seeking Refuge tells the story of eleven-year-old Marianne Kohn who travels to England in December 1938 on the first Kindertransport. Marianne story is based on the actual events refugee children experienced while trying to live in a foreign country. Told in nine chapters, this novel takes you on a somber and emotional journey. The black and white pencil sketches reflect the fear, struggle, and loneliness Marianne faces as she tries to navigate this new home. Step inside Marianne’s shoes and experience her struggles and heartache as well as her courage and resilience.
Verdict: This is such an important novel to read. Even though this story tells about the refugee crisis during WWII, the difficulties Marianne faced are the same hardships many refugees face today. Seeking Refuge is an eye-opening narrative that does not shy away from exposing the injustice of xenophobia.