REVIEW: My Name Is Not Refugee by Kate Milner

Published: 14th May 2017

Publisher: The Bucket List

Pages: 32

Format: Paperback picture book (borrowed from the library)

RRP: $12.99

4/5 Stars

A young boy discusses the journey he is about to make with his mother. They will leave their town, she explains, and it will be sad but also a little bit exciting. They will have to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, and that will be difficult. They will have to walk and walk and walk, and although they will see many new and interesting things, it will be difficult at times too. A powerful and moving exploration that draws the young reader into each stage of the journey, inviting the chance to imagine the decisions he or she would make. From the winner of the V&A Student Illustration Award 2016.

My Name is not Refugee is an incredibly powerful picture book aimed at both children and kids alike.

Kate Milner has done an incredible job breaking down the emotional, mental and physical complexities of the refugee experience into a bittersweet and poignant story for your children. Milner’s narrative is short, but certainly not sweet, as the unnamed child narrator recounts what their mother has told him and the unusual activities, scenes, sounds and scents that he explores on his way to his new home.

The story is heartbreaking, but Milner has matched her illustrations and text perfectly, allowing the reader to get  a sense of hope and encouragement. Even the layout of the pages is perfect, with the images and text all large and with plenty of white space behind them allowing the story and illustrations to take center stage.

Although the story is gentle in its devastation, breaking down the situation into small bite-size chunks suitable for the really young, the title and final lines of this book pack one hell of punch for readers of all ages. It truly is a book that readers from all walks of life, all social-economic, religious and  cultural backgrounds NEED to read.

I feel very strongly about this book, and feel like it belongs on every child’s home library and in every classroom around the world.

I highly recommend My Name is Not Refugee to everyone.

To purchase a copy of My Name Is Not Refugee, visit the following online retailers:

Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Book Depository | Dymocks

To learn more about Kate Milner, visit the following social media pages:


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