Review Blog

Nov 11 2019

Hasina by Michelle Aung Thin

cover image

Through My Eyes series. Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760637286. pbk., 215pgs.
(Age: Upper pimary) Oh wow, what a gripping a story of one child's experience of persecution in Myanmar (Burma). Hasina is the latest book out in the Through My Eyes series. Each book in the series is written by a different author writing to help us understand about the courage and plight of forced migration and refugee situations seen through the eyes of a child.
As a teacher who works with children from Myanmar, I was hooked from the start and could not put the book Hasina down. My eyes were opened to the innocence of children living in Myanmar and how their families and world was torn apart. My heart goes out to everyone over there and other places around the world. Hasina is one book that I would share with my students. You can also find teachers notes on the Through My Eyes books' website.
Hasina was a happy teenager when overnight everything changed. Her father and aunt yell to her to get up and run and not to stop. Hasina, her little brother Araf and her cousin Ghadiya run into the Rakine forest. When they emerge from the forest their world has changed. With no food, no family, their fight for survival starts. Their lives are under constant threat from the natural elements, people they know and meet and of cause the soldiers.
I did like how the author described how Hasina's numal, her head scarf did not make her feel dignified or modest anymore and it felt like it was making her a target that drew attention to her for being Muslim. This is also something that happens in Australia.
Hasina is another story in the Through My Eyes series for upper primary. It shows, once again, that although we may live in different parts of the world and face different struggles some things remain the same. Family, survival and belief in peace are strong themes in this book. The main characters are believable and their various responses to their situation authentically written.
A great addition to a bookshelf that includes stories about children from around the world that tell stories of young people living in conflict zones around the world.
Maria Komninos

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