June 20th is World Refugee Day, a day to commemorate the "strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees" worldwide and show support for people who have been displaced. In observance of this important day, the global non-profit Room to Read recommended a list of books for young readers that will help spark and inform conversations about the refugee experience.
According to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), in the year 2017 "68.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations." Every single one of those people has their own story. The books on this list all address the refugee experience in an important way, ranging from memoirs to historical fictions.
Room to Read "seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education." They work all over the world, including conflict-affected areas like Bangladesh, Indonesia and Jordan. You can get involved with Room to Read by volunteering, making a donation, and more.
So, take this opportunity to read a book that puts you in the shoes of a refugee or shows you a new perspective on the current refugee crisis. After all, the more informed you are, the better prepared you can be to help. Here are 10 books to read for World Refugee Day, as recommended by the Room To Read's global publishing expert, Alisha Berger: