Frank Cottrell-Boyce – The Unforgotten Coat

The final audiobook I listened to while decorating my spare room (yes…it took a long time). I think this book like the previous one may have been better to read rather than listen to as it seems like I missed out on extras like photographs again, but even so, it was a fabulous book.

Julie is a normal year six kid, but life changes for her when two new people start in her class – Chingis and Negrui. They’re immigrants from Mongolia, and from the moment they start, Julie imagines what it would be like to be invited to tea at their house. Chingis and Nergui decide that Julie is their ‘good guide’, and she helps them to settle in at school in an unfamiliar country.

When Julie finally manages to get to their house, she’s very confused by the reaction that their mum has to the arrival of someone new. But this is all explained towards the end when Chingis and Nergui are suddenly gone.

During the book, we find out that Chingis and Nergui are convinced that a demon is following them, and they end up on a fantastical journey with Julie. But it turns out the demon is more real than Julie ever thought.

Dealing sensitively and imaginatively with complex issues of refugees and immigration, this book was heart-rending but beautifully written. Although clearly aimed at a younger audience, I was gripped the whole way through.

And after reading the afterword where we find out that the book was based on a real Mongolian girl who settled into a school and then was deported, I was so sad. Definitely a great book to recommend to younger readers to open up the topic of refugees and hopefully start a conversation and some learning.

My rating: 4Average rating: 3.84
112 pages. Published in: 2011
Read in Audiobookon 22nd August 2020

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