Publication of Shahana launches ‘Through My Eyes, a new Australian fiction series set in contemporary warzones:
Through My Eyes invites young readers to enter the fragile worlds of children living in contemporary war zones. Every day in an increasing number of countries, children are desperately trying to survive as their families and their whole way of life is destroyed by war. This new series is a tribute to such children and the themes of courage, determination, triumph and perseverance will inspire, challenge and engage young readers, creating greater cross cultural understanding and informed empathy.
Several stories set in the World Wars have been written for younger readers but very little has been published about more contemporary conflicts and those within Asian settings. War affects the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the boy or girl and these stories will appeal to all readers.
The idea for the series was principally inspired by the success of the Parvana series by Deborah Ellis and by my own extensive experience as a primary school teacher-librarian and English as a Second Language teacher. Having had the privilege of listening to the incredible experiences of children and war, I believe these life-changing situations are best told through stories that are character-driven but based on meticulous research and understanding of the issues each war-torn region raises. The continuing controversy surrounding Australia’s role in providing asylum for displaced peoples from the world’s war-zones, and the request by students for more books of this genre provided further context for the decision to create this series.
This is not a non-fiction series, but through the strong, character-driven story lines the readers will be aware of the specific time, place and military conflict. Individual stories on this theme have been written, but this will be the first time a series has been created that deals with a range of children’s experiences in war-torn countries.
—Lyn White, series editor