Wednesday 23 November 2022

A Sky-Blue Bench

Finished November 15
A Sky-Blue Bench by Bahram Rahman, illustrated by Peggy Collins

This story of a young girl, Aria, doesn't give the background of her injury, although it is at the center of the plot. Aria has a "helper leg" after an accident. She is just now returning to school and finds it difficult to sit on the ground for class. 
After consideration of her options, she decides to build a bench for herself for class. The story shows the gathering of materials, the request for advice from someone with the necessary skills, and the construction of the bench including painting it a sky-blue colour with the gift of paint given to Aria. This blue is a colour of courage, peace, and wisdom according to her donor. 
Aria's project inspires the girls in her class to dream of more projects, from more benches to bookcases. 
This story is based on real children in Afghanistan, where wooden furniture was often used by refugees to burn to keep warm, resulting in a lack of furniture following their stay in facilities like schools.
The pictures really enliven the story, with the characters' emotions coming out through their facial expressions. A lovely read about a subject not often covered. 

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