Where Will I Live by Rosemary McCarney
Those eyes. Those piercing, don’t-turn-away-from-me eyes. In horrific times of conflict and war, turning children into collateral damage seems to be the worst crime of all.
Rosemary McCarney, Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, gathers the faces of children made into refugees in too many countries around the world. Compiling photographs taken by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) – from Croatia, Hungary, Rwanda, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Slovenia, Greece, South Sudan, Kenya, Cameroon, Myanmar, and Niger – McCarney crafts an essential story of what happens to the youngest citizens when wars are fought, families are scattered, and homes are lost, destroyed, and abandoned.
“Sometimes scary things happen to good people,” she begins, with glimpses of soldiers and guns. With hastily packed luggage atop bikes and trucks, clutched in tired arms and strapped onto backs, families run, desperate to find peace. Shelter might be found under a fraying carpet or beneath a cramped staircase or in a city of tents; despite the uncertainty, unexpected new friendships can offer opportunities to play and laugh. Amidst the worry and fear, tenacity inspires the hope that someday, somehow, “… someone smiles and says, ‘Welcome home.'”
With a direct final plea, “I hope that someone is you,” McCarney gently encourages awareness – a first step to enabling change – in the youngest readers. Her personal determination is literal, as the book’s proceeds “will be donated to refugee children’s programs around the world.” Now that’s a gift of worthy compassion.