Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration
Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration

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Annotation: From a celebrated documentary artist, twelve portraits from the front lines of migration form an intimate record of why ... more
Catalog Number: #301493
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Illustrator: Butler, George,
Pages: 46 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-536-21775-1 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-0328-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-536-21775-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-0328-9
Dewey: 304.8
LCCN: 2021933581
Dimensions: 24 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
From the Middle East, Kenya, Tajikistan, Eastern Europe, and Myanmar, Butler shares stories of migration that put a human face on a global phenomenon.The book is organized into 12 illustrated stories of people on the move. While some seek refuge from war, others migrate in search of better livelihoods. In a story about Tajikistan’s migrant workers, Butler writes, “it struck me that human migration is often thought of as one-directional, but this movement of people is on a continuous loop—an enormous, annual commute to work.” On the Balkan route during what some have termed Europe’s recent “refugee crisis,” he recollects that “on one side [of a new fence] armored police patrolled with batons, while groups of refugees and migrants, carrying their lives and children on their backs, were on the other.” The spare, penetrating ink sketches portray facts and convey emotions in a way that allows readers to see through the artist’s eyes. They are supported by contextual narrative recounting what was happening when it was drawn. The range of migration experiences covered is impressive. In addition to displacement across borders, it includes less-discussed topics—internal displacement; refugees who return to still-struggling home countries; and a section on Palestine and the right to movement—all without failing to note that migration has existed for centuries. Together, text and art portray their dreams, the burdens they carry, and the uncertainty they experience.An exquisite piece of journalism imbued with care. (Nonfiction. 10-adult)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* A man behind bars in a Syrian prison poses for the artist, eyes staring directly at him, as well as at the reader; an Iraqi girl smiles out from deep within a caravan of refugees passing through Greece; people huddle around a fire in a warehouse in Belgrade while the cold seeps into their bodies through the concrete floor. This is a work of art, compassion, and activism, with journalist and illustrator Butler using his craft to bear witness to and build awareness of the effects of war on civilians whose lives are treated as mere collateral for those in power. The book includes accounts from 10 places ravaged by war between 2012 and 2018. Each account includes a snippet of conversation with someone Butler met: children and adults displaced by war and politics t never abject victims. They have dignity, humor, tenderness, and, most important, names. We get to know them momentarily before they have to move on in search of safety. In this visually stunning volume, Butler uses sharply defined ink lines to create the contours of people and landscapes, and washes of watercolor that bleed into one another add depth and context. A powerful work of skill and sensibility.
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Starred Review ALA Booklist (1/1/21)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 5-9

From a celebrated documentary artist, twelve portraits from the front lines of migration form an intimate record of why people leave behind the places they call home.

It is an unusual feeling to walk into a place that everyone is leaving . . .

Resisting his own urge to walk away, award-winning artist George Butler took his sketchbook and made, over the course of a decade, a series of remarkable pen-and-ink and watercolor portraits in war zones, refugee camps, and on the move. While he worked, his subjects—migrants and refugees in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia—shared their stories. Theirs are the human stories behind the headlines that tell of fleeing poverty, disaster, and war, and of venturing into the unknown in search of jobs, education, and security. Whether sketching by the hospital bed of a ten-year-old Syrian boy who survived an airstrike, drawing the doll of a little Palestinian girl with big questions, or talking with a Masai herdsman forced to abandon his rural Kenyan home for the Kibera slums, George Butler turns reflective art and sensitive reportage into an eloquent cry for understanding and empathy. Taken together and elegantly packaged, his beautiful portraits form a moving testament to our shared humanity—and the universal urge for safety and a better life.

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