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The Little Refugee
Transcript of The Little Refugee
& Suzanne Do
The Little Refugee is a recount of Anh Do's experience fleeing Vietnam after The Vietnam War in 1980, seeking refuge in Australia. This text was created after Do published his memoir The Happiest Refugee. Do created this text to give young readers access to his own experiences as a refugee and a simplified insight into the complex issues associated with refugees.
Anh Do is a well known Australian comedian, writer and actor. After graduating from the University of Technology in Sydney, Do began his career as a stand up comedian, and eventually appeared on television shows such as Thank God You're Here. Do then began taking up minor roles in films and eventually starred in Footy Legends, produced by his brother in 2006. In 2010, Do published his autobiography The Happiest Refugee, which sold more than 100, 000 copies and was awarded Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards in 2011. The Happiest Refugee gives a detailed recount of the inspiring journey Do and his family made from Vietnam, as well as the struggles of beginning a new life in Australia as a refugee.
The little refugee is an example of quality children's literature that allows readers to understand the diversity of people's experiences within Australia, and gives young readers an insight into enduring social and cultural issues associated with refugees.
The Australian Curriculum: English aims to help students engage imaginatively and critically with literature to expand the scope of their experiences. Literary texts may include personal, social and contemporary values as well as having enduring social and artistic value. Quality texts are chosen to potentially enrich the lives of students by expanding the scope of their experience, and also demonstrate effective and interesting features of form and style (Australian Curriculum: English, 2013).
Cross-curricular priorities: Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia.
Contemporary attention and cultural values: Refugees are currently a controversial and challenging issue faced by Australia, and is often portrayed in the media. The Little Refugee would be an effective text to use as an introduction to refugees within Australia and Asia, and challenge students to see multiple perspectives surrounding the topic.
Content descriptors: The Little Refugee could be used in all year levels. On a basic level, the text allows readers to understand another perspective and deals with moral problems. Older students may be able to explore the issues surrounding refugees more in depth after reading this text.
Personal and social value:
The Little Refugee deals with a current political and ethical issue within Australia. With Australia's classrooms becoming increasingly diverse, it is important that students are appropriately educated about the range of reasons why people move to and seek refuge in Australia. This book could be used during an activity related to Harmony Day celebrations or in a unit of work related to global culture or unity.
Artistic value, form and style:
The Little Refugee uses an effective combination of selected vocabulary and imagery to create meaning. The text is written from Anh's perspective in first person and uses different types of verbs to reveal more information about characters. The text is accompanied by illustrations, that make use of colour and line to depict emotions. The illustrations also feature detailed facial expressions and positioning of characters to visually represent certain values and emotions.