Publisher: Hachette Australia.
Published: July 13th 2017.
Page Count: 320 Pages.
Genre: YA, Contemporary.
RRP: $19.99 AUD.
Kept by a ruthless gang, three children manage to escape from slavery. But freedom isn’t just waiting on the outside.
Separated, scared and looking after a small child, Esra will do whatever she can to reunite with her friend Miran, who was captured by the police – the police who she mustn’t trust.
Hiding in the shadows of the forest, Esra is found by a local boy, a boy with his own story. Together they will create a man out of mud. A man who will come to life and lead them through a dark labyrinth of tunnels until they finally have the courage the step above ground. Until they finally have the courage to speak their story. Until they finally have the courage to be free
“I understand then, more than ever, that free is free from fear and I’ve been running too long. I haven’t let myself remember so my heart wouldn’t burn. But I’m ready now. I am the speaker for the dead, and I will find my home”.
Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending us this novel to review ❤️
‘The Ones that Disappeared’ is a recent YA novel written by the very powerful and influential author Zana Fraillon. This is actually the first novel we have read by this author. We were actually really surprised with the concept of this novel, we really just loved how well her writing flowed! So we will definitely pick up ‘The Bone Sparrow’ by this author in the near future!
The plot follows three trafficked young and frightened Syrian children who are searching for both freedom and hope whilst finding the means to survive each day. All across the world, you may already know that children trafficking is an issue that continues to rapidly increase in numbers. Zana has done an incredible job in bringing forth an issue into our own personal radars so we can all understand more about this heartbreaking global issue.
With the novel being set in Australia, we just knew we had to read this novel to be part of this powerful and surprisingly beautiful journey.
The novel portrays three trafficked children: Esra, Miran and Isa. They have all had the roles of different jobs since leaving their families, homes, culture and identities behind.
The three children are instructed with a role to care for a room full of opium plants however, something goes completely wrong, a fire starts from an unknown source. When the chance to escape from beatings, starvation and this job arises, the children jump at the chance to take charge of the situation and break free of the caged room of which they have been kept in. However, just after this happens, the police turn up just in time and Miran is taken into custody, not knowing what to do as Esra and Isa run to find refuge.
We have to say we actually really loved Zana’s writing style throughout this novel. It was just so poetic and it followed and linked beautifully! It was an incredibly short read despite the major topic that was explored. We really loved how the author was able to go above and beyond with this novel whilst including magical realism! Esra and Isa meet a young boy, Skeet who also finds that he is ignored. The three of them design and construct a figure of which they call the Riverman with materials they find along a bank to a flowing river. The following day the children find that the Riverman has come to life and helps lead them to Rescue Miran.
This novel is about stories of survival and courage and what one must do to find and hold onto hope. Zana shows us that human rights and decency are worth fighting for! This novel gives everyone a voice especially those which have personally experienced child slavery.
The novel highlights a heartbreaking and emotional issue that truly needs to be eliminated. With the help of this novel, we caught a brief look at what dangerous situations these children are constantly placed in and let us tell you, it’s definitely not okay!!!
“I’ll soar their souls from my tongue, and build back all they cared for and tell of all they loved”.
Have you had the chance to read ‘The Bone Sparrow’? If so, what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!😊
Book Rating 4/5 Stars ⭐️