The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World
Deo is a refugee from Burundi who must leave his home because of war. When he leaves his home, he gets separated from his family and ends up alone in a refugee camp. In the refugee camp, he feels scared because there are gangs and one bully named Remy. Deo sits one night and makes a banana-leaf ball by bunching dried banana leaves and using twine to tie it together. He hides his ball so the bullies won’t steal it. One day a soccer coach comes to the refugee camp and gets the boys to play soccer together. Deo and Remy are on the same team. The boys realize how much fun it is to play soccer and become friends. Deo decides to share his banana-leaf ball with the other kids so they can play together.
I really liked reading The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World because it was based on a true story of a boy named Benjamin. When in the refugee camp, Benjamin learned about the group Right to Play, which gives kids the chance to play and feel more confident. I have been reading a lot of books about refugees, and it makes me sad to think of so many kids having to leave their homes. I would recommend this book to other kids who want to learn about experiences in refugee camps.
Katie Smith Milway • Shane Evans, Illustrator
Kids Can Press