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Asylum Seeker Narratives

(Status : Public)
Coordinated by AustLit UQ Team
  • Across the Dark Sea

    image of person or book cover
    This image has been sourced from online.

    'Trung's family is tragically separated during their attempt to escape to a new country. A raid by soldiers means that only Trung and his father make it onto the boat headed for freedom. Trung's mother and little sister are left behind in Vietnam. Trung's journey, in the hull of a crowded fishing boat, is fraught with danger and full of loneliness. His estranged father is too sad and desperate to offer much comfort.

    Even when Trung arrives in Australia, his difficult journey continues.

    (...more)
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  • Boy Overboard

    image of person or book cover
    'A story of adventure, ball control and hope. Jamal and Bibi have a dream. To lead Australia to soccer glory in the next World Cup. But first they must face landmines, pirates, storms and assassins. Can Jamal and his family survive their incredible journey and get to Australia? Sometimes, to save the people you love, you have to go overboard'. (Source: publisher's website.)
    (...more)
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  • Dreaming Australia

    image of person or book cover
    This image has been sourced from online.
    Dreaming Australia tells the story of Soraya, a young girl from Masar e-Sharif, Northern Afghanistan. After her mother is killed in a missile attack, she is sent away with her brother and cousin to a people smuggler in Pakistan who will arrange for her to travel to Australia. But the journey through the mountains north of Kabul is dangerous, particularly after her two male escorts are commandeered by the Taliban to work as porters. Fortunately Soraya meets Muhammed, a rohani (or holy man), who guides her across the border to the city of Peshawar. (...more)
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  • Girl Underground

    image of person or book cover
    This image has been sourced from online.
    image of person or book cover
    This image has been sourced from online.
    'This is a story of friendship, courage and a bit of crime. Bridget wants a quiet life. Including, if possible, keeping her parents out of prison. Then a boy called Menzies makes her an offer she can't refuse, and they set off on a job of their own. It's a desperate, daring plan - to rescue two kids, Jamal and Bibi, from a desert detention centre. Can Bridget and Menzies pull off their very first jail break, or will they end up behind bars too? Sometimes, to help a friend, you have to dig deep.' (Source: Author's website) (...more)
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  • Good Samaritan

    image of person or book cover
    This image has been sourced from online.
    When a boat carrying asylum seekers is wrecked south of Adelaide, local teenager Josh hides one of the escapees in his shed. The struggle to keep Habib hidden leads Josh to face formerly unknown challenges to his cosy, comfortable world. The tension builds as Josh combats different threats to Habib's safety, culminating in an exciting climax on the day of his sister's wedding. (back cover) (...more)
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  • The Little Refugee

    Courtesy of Allen & Unwin

    'Giant waves crashed down on our little boat. I was terrified but my mum hugged me tight and told me, "Everything will be okay. Don't worry, it will be okay." Anh Do nearly didn't make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. It was a dangerous journey, with murderous pirates and terrifying storms, but they managed to survive. Life in suburban Australia was also hard for a small boy with no English and funny lunches.

    (...more)
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  • Mahtab's Story

    Courtesy of Allen and Unwin.
    'Mahtab and her family are forced to leave their home in Herat and journey secretly through the rocky mountains to Pakistan and from there to faraway Australia. Months go by, months of waiting, months of dread. Will they ever be reunited with their father, will they ever find a home? This compelling novel by one of Australia's best-loved children's authors is based on the true story of one girl's voyage to Australia with her family.' (Publisher's blurb) (...more)
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  • Rainbow Bird

    image of person or book cover
    This image has been sourced from online.
    'Stark and beautiful, Rainbow Bird is a book of rare insight. More than a children's book, or an art book, this is a work of pain, hope, and simple, profound truth. An unseen, unnamed narrator takes us on a journey through fear, uncertainty and despair to hope. Every page challenges us to think and, above all, to feel.' (Publisher's blurb) (...more)
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  • Refugee: The Diary of Ali Ismail

    image of person or book cover
    Image courtesy of publisher's website.
    'Ali Ismail is a refugee. Fleeing persecution in Afghanistan, Ali is smuggled away from his family. He eventually finds himself on a ramshackle boat bound for Australia. But instead of winning freedom, Ali and his companions are taken to a detention centre in the South Australian outback. For twelve long months, as he waits to find out whether he will be allowed to stay, Ali must endure the hardship and despair of mandatory detention. He briefly experiences life outside the razor-wire fences of Woomera - but all too soon he must return, to await his fate. (...more)
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  • Soraya the Storyteller

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    This image has been sourced from online.

    'Soraya is a storyteller. The stories from Afghanistan keep her memories alive in Australia, as she starts a new life under the shadow of a Temporary Protection Visa. But it is the ebony horse which flies through her dreams that helps her find a strange land between remembering and forgetting, a land where she can be safe'. (Publication summary)

    (...more)
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  • A True Person

    image of person or book cover
    Image courtesy of publisher's website.
    image of person or book cover
    Image courtesy of publisher's website.
    'Zallah and her mother have escaped their war torn country and are looking for safety in Australia. Instead of freedom they find themselves in a refugee detention centre. Zallah struggles with the reason for this punishment' (source: back cover blurb). (...more)
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  • Walk in My Shoes

    Courtesy of Penguin Books Australia.
    'After a perilous and terrifying escape from war-torn Afghanistan, Gulnessa and her family find themselves in Australia, a place they know nothing about. They are exhausted and traumatised, but so full of hope. At last, somewhere safe to call home. But their struggle isn't over yet. They are confined in a detention centre for asylum seekers, and forced to prove their refugee status. As days drag into weeks and months, Gulnessa is determined to stay strong. She must keep her family together, and fight for her friend Abdul - with whom she has secretly fallen in love. (...more)
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  • Ziba Came on a Boat

    Courtesy of Penguin Books Australia.
    'A picture book about a little (Afghan) girl whose family has lost everything and their brave journey across the sea to make a new life.' (Source: QUT Library Catalogue) (...more)
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