Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Journey” as Want to Read:
The Journey
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Journey

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  2,928 ratings  ·  581 reviews
With haunting echoes of the current refugee crisis this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

From the author: The Journey is actually a story about many journeys, and it bega
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Flying Eye Books (first published April 1st 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Journey, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Journey

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,928 ratings  ·  581 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Journey
David Schaafsma
I don't want to get all political on you, but if we could all know the stories and feel the pain of just a few of the folks making their way up Mexico to the US border as we do in this lovely picturebook, we would not be fearing them and demonizing them as potential terrorists, sending 10-15 K troops with weapons down to the border to scare them back to where they were unable to live, if we were to treat them with the compassion they deserve as refugees, as needful of our help, as human beings l ...more
Amy | shoutame
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An extremely beautiful tale told through the eyes of a family who need to uproot from their home and travel a long distance to find safety.

The book as a whole is a stunning thing to behold - the paper quality and binding alone had me all of a flutter! As for the plot - it encompasses the story of the countless refugees who fight everyday to cross lands and borders to hopefully reach a place that is promised to be safe. The family in this book look up into the sky and see a flock of migrating bi
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
2.5 stars. This one didn't work for me, the illustrations are lovely but I feel that the story line would be confusing and all together too scary for the young, which this book, with a line or two of simple text on each page, seems to be aimed at. The story shows a happy family who enjoy everyday life until war comes, their father is taken and they have to leave their country. Their father isn't seen again. There are some scary characters and scenes of their mother crying alone in the woods whil ...more
Oh, my. This book. What a beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful, necessary book. A young refugee’s view of their world as it descends into the darkness and loss of war and then into a journey across unknown lands and waters to seek safety, The Journey is ultimately a superbly-done, empathic tale of the plights of too many people in our world right now. The fairy tale-like setting and touches of the fantastical makes a deeply serious story resonate at just the right tone for young readers, and Sanna’ ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this title listed on the longlist for the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustrated children's books. I enjoy finding new illustrators even when the books are aimed for children. The visual style of Francesca Sanna is so appealing, you can find some of her work here-

The authors note reveals :
The Journey is actually the story of many journeys and it began with the story of two girls I met in a refugee centre in Italy. After meeting them I realised that behind their journey lay something ve
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is an utterly beautiful picturebook that addresses what it feels like to be a refugee in ways that naturally build empathy but never get too explicit for a young child. It isn't modelled on any specific refugee crisis in the world, but rather on the way it feels to a young child when their world comes apart, and they have to leave everything behind and flee to a distant hope of safety.

I think it's probably aimed at ages 5+ - I'm not sure that my 3-year-old picked everything up - but he stil
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
* I was sent this for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review *

This is a beautiful illustrated children's book which is all about how it feels to be forced out of your country and to become a refugee. The story is told with small amounts of text accompanied by vast sprawling imagery and the images help to represent some of the fears, excitement and emotions which accompany the journey...

What I really liked about this was that it's full colour pages and the artwork is beautiful a
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Visually lush with a powerful story about families forced to leave their homes because of war.

Abbie Stagg
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to this book in the first year of my degree and I really enjoyed it and the important and relevant message it held. This picture book is based on Sanna's own experiences with immigration from refugee's she has met through out her life. It focuses on a family whose country becomes war ridden meaning they have to flee. Focusing on their journey to freedom until they finally get to safety.
The contents place the reader in the position of the child who is escaping war, helping to cre
Felicity Gibson
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a gripping story about a family of refugees on their journey to safety. It invites the reader to imagine what the experience of fleeing your home country would be like and understand the characters' feelings.
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations tell the simple story of one family who must leave their home after war takes their father and set them upon a journey.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This was a really inspiring story. The illustrations are beautiful and help us read through the lines to create an even deeper story. There is a lot to explore here with children.

Sanna based this book on the real journeys of refugees from many different countries. It really opens your eyes and makes you think about how lucky you are to have what you have and what you could be doing to fight for everyones right for freedom.
Eleanor Abbott
This is a stunning story in which Sanna places the reader into the eyes of a child escaping a war and allows you to enter her thoughts, feelings and emotions. You follow the journey of their departure and learn about the hurdles they meet. The story stems from a true story Sanna heard when meeting two refugees in Italy, which she then further investigated through interviewing people from other countries. I think this makes the story all that more special as it makes it seem so raw and real. I pa ...more
Alex  Baugh
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Journey begins with a young girl, the narrator, introducing her happy close-knit family living in a city near the sea, until war arrives and bad things began to happen. But when the war takes her father, her mother decides it is time to leave their homeland despite the dangers, and to try and reach a country where they can live without war and fear. So the family packs up what belonging they can and leave. But the journey is difficult, and little by little they begin to leave belongings behi ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-harder-2017
Enjoyed this illustrated childrens' book, which I read as part of the Read Harder Challenge.

Despite being short, it has some heavy themes and ends in a way that makes you hope for the safety of the narrator. Given the world we live in and the knowledge we have as adults, the happiness and innocence that the narrator feels at the end, may not be long lived!

That said, a book also about over coming challenges so fingers crossed!
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stealthily, and very quickly, read my friends copy of this picture book, though I still don't think I spent enough time gazing longingly at the illustrations, so one day I may get my own copy.
It is a sensitive depiction of the refugee crisis, and doesn't really condescend to children when telling this story.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This gorgeously illustrated book shows how a child's life is disrupted by war. It begins with a peaceful day at the beach, then war, the father is murdered, and they must flee. The book provides a perfect introduction to what it's like to be a refugee.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations and a refugee story that blends many stories of this most difficult journey so many unfortunate people and children have to undertake. Gentle, emphatic and hopeful!
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
MORE THAN FIVE STARS. I can't even begin to talk about how beautiful this is.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: illustration, kids
An important story and stunningly beautiful artwork.
Eve Leuzinger
A beautiful and poignant narrative, perfectly accompanied by illustrations that provide perspective, depth and emotions. 'The Journey' focuses on the tale of a family forced to leave their home because of war and follows their journey to find somewhere safe.

The narrative is filled with symbols and emotions making the reader question the events of the tale and how each individual character feels about the events happening to them. However, the narrative is only part of the picture, the illustrat
The Journey is not only a good book, it's an important one. The Syrian refugee crisis makes this tale especially relevant right now, yet it is purposefully told to be universal, to be timeless. War takes so much -- family members, a sense of security, a place to call home. When people are forced to run away from not only their house, but from their country, life transitions to a state of uncertainty.

In the realm of picture books, it is rare for a story to be written and illustrated by the same
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
This was a well written book, and I think it's wonderful to have a way to help explain to children what a refugee is and some of the things they may go through, in general terms at least.

The illustrations are well done too -- I especially like the colors, and use of light and dark.

This book tries to mix reality with fantasy in an interesting way, and I can assume that one reason is because the book is intended to tell lots of stories, and be applicable beyond the current refugee crisis. Therefor
Megan Watterson
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I chose this book as a focus for a plan for a half term project. The book is about a child refugees journey from their home country into the unknown but with the promise of finding a safe place. I think it is so relevant to modern day as it allows children to empathise with the refugee character which broadens their cultural awareness and understanding. It could be a great class project due to the brilliant writing and illustrations. This would also be a good class read to fit in with a global w ...more
Tara Harries
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Journey tells the story of a refugee family escaping their country from war. The illustrations work with the text really well, sometimes giving an insight into more of the story than what the text is saying alone. The way the illustrations are showed allows us to follow the journey with the family and allow us to feel some of their emotions eg (when the family look small on the page we can sense they are scared). This would allow children an insight into the lives of these families in a way ...more
Tyler Barnett
This book tells the story of a refugee family fleeing their country from war. The illustrations allow for the reader to join in the journey with the family, bringing to life their emotions. For example when the family are portrayed on the page as small, we can sense they feel scared in that moment. This book provides an insight into the lives of families in this situation in a sensitive manner. The themes of love and fear are strongly portrayed throughout. I wish I would have known about this bo ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
- Based upon the author meeting 2 girls in a refugee centre in Italy
- 48 pages
- Age range: 5-8 years
- Publisher: flying eye books
- Colourful illustrations
- Point of view of the children
- Well written
- Short/ medium length sentences
- Illustrations are centre stage of book: story can be depicted from illustrations
Nicki Fairman
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This particularly poignant book for our times allows readers to understand what it means to be a refugee. With beautiful pictures the themes of fear, love and adventure are brought to life. A thought provoking read.
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary
The illustrations in this book were lovely, and I think it would be a great way to get kids thinking about war, borders, and refugees.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Water Princess
  • Dreamers
  • The Day War Came
  • A Different Pond
  • Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
  • Sea Prayer
  • Penguin Flies Home (Flight School, #2)
  • Mission to Space
  • Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon
  • A Poem for Peter
  • Freedom in Congo Square
  • The Proudest Blue
  • I Will Be Fierce
  • Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey
  • Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
  • Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation
  • Voices in the Park
  • Grandad's Island
See similar books…
Francesca Sanna is an Italian illustrator and graphic designer based in Switzerland. After she finished her studies in Cagliari, the main city of her beloved Mediterranean island (Sardinia) she said goodbye to her family and her cat (Berta) and moved to Germany before and Switzerland after, in order to follow her dream and be able to work as illustrator. She graduated with honors in 2015 the Lucer ...more

News & Interviews

You might know comedian Colin Jost from his work as the co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, or perhaps you know him as Scarlett Joha...
79 likes · 27 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »