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Lyn White has been a primary school teacher-librarian and English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for more than twenty years and is passionate about children’s literature. She has great expertise in engaging students with quality texts and teachers with relevant high quality resources. Her work with refugee and migrant children motivated her to create a series that spoke of their experiences, and led to the Through My Eyes series.
Lyn, what inspired you to commission Through My Eyes?
As a teacher-librarian I was frequently asked by students for fiction stories of children in other cultures that had a strong link to reality. As an English as a Second Language teacher I had the privilege of listening to the incredible experiences of refugee and newly arrived children who had been displaced and traumatised by conflict. I began to realise the potential of combining these two experiences – a fiction series of engaging stories of true events in troubled lands with insight into culture, conflict and identity through one child’s eyes.
Australia is home to many refugees and displaced people and we were mindful of the need to show due respect to their cultures and experiences. The integrity of our authors and their exhaustive research has been invaluable in meeting this challenge. This series aims to pay tribute to children whose worlds have been changed forever. I believe we have achieved this aim as each author has created a story that is primarily about the culture and identity of their character, and while there are certainly bleak moments in each story, the overriding sense is one of hope and triumph over adversity.