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The Jungle

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  37 reviews
There was a story Jahir used to tell me. About how the first humans were born with wings. Can you imagine what that would be like? To fly anywhere in the world without worrying about having the right papers?

Mico has left his family, his home, his future. Setting out in search of a better life, he instead finds himself navigating one of the world's most inhospitable environ
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 16th 2017 by Black and White Publishing
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  99 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Whispering Stories
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Teenagers Mico, Hassan and Sy all shared a tent at the notorious migrant camp dubbed ‘The Jungle’ in Calais, France. Mico, the main character, was told to leave his life behind, including his sister and mother, in search of a better one by his Uncle, after their home, and chicken farm was burnt down.

Mico didn’t expect to find himself trapped in ‘The Jungle’ with only the clothes on his back, constantly hungry, due to the little food available, and no money. He wanted to get to England, where, ac
Lucy Powrie
DNF'ing for now but I might come back to it in the future. It's probably just not the right time for me to read it!

It's written well, on an important theme, and I think other people will enjoy it. Just not for me!
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
The Jungle is the story of Mico, a young refugee who leaves his country and everything and everyone he knows, to try and find a better life. The title refers to the Calais refugee camp where Mico is now doing his best to survive and find a way out.

One of the things I liked most is the exploration of how someone’s actions and thoughts can drastically change over time. As the story develops, Mico becomes more and more desperate and this results in some surprising actions. Things that he (and you)
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't know how I feel about this book. The ending was quite strange and was a weird place to end.

I understand that this book was trying to have a good message about displaced people and refugees but in my opinion, I don't know if it did that.

The writing was really beautiful in places and some quotes were just so true that I did more tabs in my book that I rarely do.

I guess my main problems came with the plots and the characters. Although I really liked the characters in the book like Mico an
Jo Marjoribanks
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of this book as I bought it at the Society of Young Publishers Conference in Edinburgh a few months ago. The cover really drew my eye and the plot sounded intriguing. I can't say that it was a terribly engrossing story, but it was well written and easy to read. Rather than a complex plot with a satisfying ending, this book presented a fictional snapshot of life in the Calais refugee camp. It's about the people more than the politics and the struggles they ...more
Nicole Sweeney
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.

I think this book is such a beautiful one. It’s a subject that isn’t often talked about in young adult books, and is definitely one that needs to be explored. The book is really wonderfully written with some really striking imagery, and that’s one of the main reasons I enjoyed it so much.

The Jungle develops quite slowly, allowing you the chance to get to know Mico and Leila. They are fascinating characters, and I really enjoyed seeing the
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
There was a story Jahir used to tell me. About how the first humans were born with wings. Can you imagine what that would be like? To fly anywhere in the world without worrying about having the right papers?

Mico has left his family, his home, his future. Setting out in search of a better life, he instead finds himself navigating one of the world's most inhospitable environments the Jungle. For Mico, just one of many 'unaccompanied children', the Calais refugee camp has a wildness, a brutality al
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
Really not sure what to make of this one. Will try to gather my thoughts for a full review soon.

The Jungle by Pooja Puri was a really interesting read. It felt difficult to read at times but I also felt like it needed to be read. Because this is a book about the Calais refugee camp. And as we follow the main character, Mico, through his day-to-day struggles we get a heartbreaking glimpse into the lives and experiences of the refugees.

There wasn't much of a plot to The Jungle. But I'm not sure it
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
"No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark... no one puts their children in a boat unless the the water is safer than the land" I remember reading this poem by Warsan Shire on the way to school, which found in the comments section of a Humans of New York post, if I remember correctly. Living in England through the Brexit vote and the rise of Trump, refugees are defining the politics of the world - this book is one to shake those wanting to "build a wall," not aggressively, just simp ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
At times uncomfortable to read as it is all very real.

Young teen boys who just want to be footballers have emigrated from warring countries to get stuck at the French border they call The Jungle. Trying to find food and shelter they stick together in small groups and try not to bring attention to themselves from the men who seem to run things under the guardas noses.
Unsettling but had a lot of sense of truth at times.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
If, like me, you judge books by their covers, The Jungle will be a book you won't be able to resist picking up. It wasn't the only reason I wanted to read this book though. The tagline on the front cover was convincing enough along with the blurb which I loved the sound of. The Jungle is Ink Road’s first book and I found it to be a very thought provoking one which had a lasting impression on me.

Mico has left his family behind as he navigates the Jungle, a refugee camp based in Calais. The camp
Megan Conlan
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to NetGallery and Black and White Publishing for letting me read this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. All opinion expressed in this review are my own. This book was amazing, well written and had me thoroughly impressed. It has stayed with me. Even after turning the last page, I still cannot stop thinking about it!

There is so much packed into such a small book, that I am truly astounded at how well Pooja Puri has written the story. I never expect too much from shorter bo
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
(I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

Mico and Leila develop a friendship against the backdrop of the Calais Jungle, a dangerous refugee camp in the north of France. They plan for freedom, struggle for survival, and hope for change.

So, I read this book in the evenings after working all day in a refugee camp in Greece. The camp I work in is not The Jungle, but I could connect a lot of the experiences and feelings of charact
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
The Jungle is a book about one of the most troubling issues affecting huge swathes of the World today, the movement of thousands of souls trying to escape poverty, despots or early death in the direct path of armed conflict.

What makes this book all the more important is that this is a book written for children and young Adults about Children. Set in The Jungle, the squalid camp in Calais where the refugees from many war torn regions congregated in the hope of reaching the United Kingdom, this i
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-of-2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adiba Jaigirdar
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, reviewed
It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I did, I was invested.

The Jungle tells the tale of a young boy named Mico in a Calais refugee camp. Pooja Puri manages to tell this tale of a devastating place and situation with a necessary light and hopefulness, without sacrificing realism. The balance of optimism and dark in this book is absolutely perfect. The characters are vibrant, engaging, and fully fleshed out. I loved both Mica and Leila. I loved the way Puri manages to capture
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A refreshing read of a how you can find friendship in the strangest of places. The book is from a young persons view point. Which gives the reader a different perspective. With the core of the story being told from the Calais refugee camp. I found this interesting, I like most people saw the camps on television. But I never imagined the stories behind the 1000’s of people. The Jungle made me reflect on that fact. That each person was not just a face it had his or her own story to tell.

Ink Road i
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It gave me a huge insight and reality check on the conditions of camps such as this one in calais France. It demonstrates the hunger, pain and suffering those poor people suffer on such horrendous conditions that we brits take for granted. I feel so truly sorry and helpless towards them it feels like an endless battle. Charities help people as much as possible but things run out and the help slows down its so sad. I wish we could all help each other equally and all live ...more
What a book! Not an easy story to read. It's Milo's story about his time in The Calais Jungle, how he survives against corruption, poverty, hunger, fear, criminals and so much more. This book really tugs at your heartstrings as you read how this boy is trying to survive. All the characters go through a transformation as the Jungle eats at them. They are people who are running for a better life. Shocking and heartbreaking. (this is quite an emotional review that I'll probably amend once I've slep ...more
Erin H
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 6430reads
The story of a boy, uprooted from his native country and stuck in an immigrant camp in Calais, trying to get to England is simultaneously a tough read for the subject and a beautiful read for the imagery and stories that inform and influence our characters Mico and Leila. Puri crafts a heartbreaking tale that is not too removed from reality, and I am haunted by the anger, frustration, and hopelessness that abounds in these spaces where humans are made to feel other.
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Jungle is an important fictional story about a real life refugee camp on the coast of France. It follows Mico who was forced to leave his home in search of a better life. He meets a ton of characters with tragic pasts who all ended up in the terrible refugee camp dubbed The Jungle. Mico eventually becomes best friends with a girl named Leila & they get into some shenanigans.

I really enjoyed this book. It has beautiful writing, great characters, and a simple yet effective plot. Two teenag
Elisabeth Haljas
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
It was interesting to read about the very actual topic of immigrants from their point of view. In search of a better life. However I found it quite confusing a lot of the time, and the ending felt a bit abrupt and very open. Not to say it was not meant as such. It feels like a clip from the lives of the people in the story, no beginning, and no end for some of them.
M Habib
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Simple but beautifully read. Not much happening in the plot; characters are underdeveloped, but the occasional poetic line urges you to give the book a chance.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, but the ending was extremely dissatisfying.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
I found this book lurking away hidden in my local bookstore and I'm so glad that I picked it up. A tale of friendship with ever growing emotions. I really enjoyed how strong each female character was. I'm hoping there's a sequel because that sentence left me hanging!
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, month-07, ya
An easy read on an important theme, but ultimately unsatisfying.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Whilst it’s not a fast paced book, it’s a real insight to the lives of these people. It makes you see their situation in a whole different light, and very sad really. Absolutely worth reading!
May 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Promising story but unsatisfactory conclusion
Rosie Gibbes
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and well written book.
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: diverse, arc
3.5 stars

I was immediately drawn to this book when I first saw its striking cover on Netgalley and after reading the synopsis, I was convinced to read it because I wanted to see how the author manages to weave magic into a story of refugees – a combination I never thought I’d see in literature. Overall, I ended up enjoying the book however, I did have some issues with it which I will get to in this review.

“I hate it here. I hate that they call it the Jungle.” She pointed to the houses. “We lived
I thoroughly enjoyed this book ... Beautifully descriptive its a very important read in today's political climate for my full detailed review please visit my blog-
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Pooja Puri is a graduate of King’s College London and is currently on the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. In 2014, she was chosen as a winner of the Ideas Tap Writer’s Centre Norwich Inspires competition.
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