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Wherever I Go
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Wherever I Go
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Of all her friends, Abia has been at the Shimelba Refugee Camp the longest—seven years, four months, and sixteen days. Papa says that's too long and they need a forever home. Until then, though,...
Of all her friends, Abia has been at the Shimelba Refugee Camp the longest—seven years, four months, and sixteen days. Papa says that's too long and they need a forever home. Until then, though,...
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  • Of all her friends, Abia has been at the Shimelba Refugee Camp the longest—seven years, four months, and sixteen days. Papa says that's too long and they need a forever home. Until then, though, Abia has something important to do. Be a queen. Sometimes she's a noisy queen, banging on her drum as she and Mama wait in the long line for rice to cook for dinner. Sometimes she's a quiet queen, cuddling her baby cousin to sleep while Auntie is away collecting firewood. And sometimes, when Papa talks hopefully of their future forever home, Abia is a little nervous. Forever homes are in strange and faraway places—will she still be a queen? Filled with hope, love, and respect, Wherever I Go is a timely tribute to the strength and courage of refugees around the world.

About the Author-

  • Mary Wagley Copp has worked for many years in the refugee-resettlement community. The producer of an Emmy Award-winning documentary on refugee resettlement, she has also taught in Ecuador, organized communities in Appalachia, and served as the executive director of two nonprofit organizations. When not writing, she teaches ESL to newcomers in her community. She currently resides with her husband and their puppy in Westport, Massachusetts.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 2, 2020
    Debut author Copp, who has worked in refugee resettlement, creates a hero whose life in an Ethiopian refugee camp is the only one she’s ever known. “I am Queen Abia of the Shimelba Camp,” she announces. Artist Mohammed, making his picture book debut, paints the brown-skinned girl in a vibrant blue dress that stands out against the camp’s dry red dust. She contributes to daily life with panache: “Even though I’m a queen, I still have to pump water. I just sing louder than everyone else.” Mohammed’s documentary-style paintings sweep across the landscape and close in on interior scenes with equal care. His portraits of Abia and her family have classic, sculptural dimensions. At the time of the full moon, Mama retells the story of their escape: “Mama says gunfire crackled all night, but I just cooed at the moon.” Papa looks to the future, saying that they’ll find a new home, a forever home. Queen Abia is wary; in the end, though, Mohammed shows her sitting in an airplane, flying away from the rows of tents with a story of her own to tell—a story of resilience and strength. Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Lara Perkins, Andrea Brown Literary.

  • AudioFile Magazine Charon Normand-Widmer energetically narrates this story of life in a refugee camp for one imaginative little girl. Abia moves through her daily routine in Ethiopia's Shimelba Camp picturing herself a queen: strong and clever and gentle, as needed. Normand-Widmer's rich and resonant voice expresses Abia's delightful self-confidence in her current circumstances and her uneasiness as she contemplates life beyond the camp in a new forever home. Lively background music sets the tone for this audio picture book production, while well-chosen sound effects fill in the details of the illustrations. Attentive young listeners will hear sounds of wildlife and a gushing water pump, as well as a school bell and sneakers on gravel. N.M. � AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine

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    Dreamscape Media, LLC
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