Lewis, Gill. A Story Like the Wind. Illustrated by Jo Weaver. Eerdmans, 2018. 71 pages. $16.00. ISBN 9780802855145. Ages 8-14. P7 Q9
Strangers—refugees—fleeing a Middle Eastern war in a tiny rubber dinghy face the cold, windy, dark night on a restless sea and find solace in sharing their memories. Monochromatic blue-green illustrations carry a feeling of loss, separation and chill as the strangers huddle together and share their scarce resources: food, drink, a shawl. As his only contribution a boy plays his violin—his last possession—relating a Mongolian folk tale about the origin of the instrument, an abandoned white foal, the boy who saved him, and the tyrant who coveted and killed the white stallion he became.
Verdict: This book, originally published in 2017 by Oxford Children’s Books, uses the story-within-a-story frame to bring readers to understand the immense fragility of refugee life and also the resilience of the human spirit which can draw strangers together in the face of adversity. This gorgeous book belongs in every public and middle school library. Highly recommended.
June 2019 review by Jane Cothron.