A gripping story of one child's experience of the refugee crisis in Myanmar.
Michelle was born in Burma, now Myanmar, in the year of the military coup and left with her parents when she was an infant. She grew up in Canada, worked as an advertising copywriter in London and now calls Australia home. Her first book, The Monsoon Bride, is set in colonial Rangoon. She is finalising a book about the cosmopolitan history of the city, which she researched in the Luce Collection at the National Library of Australia. She likes travel and the outdoors and Melbourne coffee. Michelle currently teaches at RMIT University.
Series editor and series creator Lyn White has extensive experience as a primary classroom teacher, teacher-librarian and EAL teacher. In 2010 Lyn completed postgraduate studies in Editing and Communications at the University of Melbourne. Lyn is passionate about children's literature and has great expertise in engaging students with quality texts. Her work with refugee children motivated her to create the acclaimed Through My Eyes series of books set in contemporary war zones. Lyn also created and edited the Through My Eyes - Natural Disaster Zones series that pays tribute to the courage and resilience of children who are often the most vulnerable in post-disaster situations. Lyn continues to teach EAL and is an education consultant and conference presenter.
Hasina continues the Through My Eyes narrative series, about children living in conflict zones. The main protagonist; Hasina, epitomises the courage and hope that this series successfully embodies. Hasina is a 14 year old female that must live through the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. It is through her eyes and experiences that the reader is engaged, willing Hasina to save not only herself but her cousin and younger brother.
The narrative is enhanced with a brief introductory paragraph distinguishing Burma prior to 1989 and Myanmar after 1989. This historical background is positioned alongside a map of Myanmar and its neighbouring countries helping to contextualise this historical fiction for readers.
The end of the novel contains a detailed timeline, glossary and section entitled ‘Find Out More About’ which provides websites and YouTube clips for students to further engage with the historical background of Myanmar and the Rohingya crisis.
Ideal classroom uses for Stage 3 and Stage 4 (upper primary/lower secondary) for the Australian Curriculum:
A thematic study of the novel could include; family, culture, resilience, persecution, human rights.
Hasina is an ideal novel for engaging students with narrative non-fiction to enhance their learning. History and Geography teachers that are utilising resources beyond syllabus textbooks will find this text a valuable classroom inclusion.
Jodie Webber, NSW