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 all of its own.
A melting pot of characters, cultures, and stories, the Jungle often seems like its own strange world. But despite his ambitions to escape, Mico is unable to buy his way out from the ‘Ghost Men’ the dangerous men with magic who can cross borders unnoticed. Alone, desperate, and running out of options, the idea of jumping onto a speeding train to the UK begins to feel worryingly appealing.
But when Leila arrives at the camp one day, everything starts to change. Outspoken, gutsy, and fearless, she shows Mico that hope and friendship can grow in the most unusual places, and maybe, just maybe, they’ll show you the way out as well.
Happy publication day to The Jungle, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour! 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 story from their perspective, as well as watching their relationship develop throughout the book. One of things I thought was particularly striking about The Jungle is the way it highlights not just the harrowing nature of living in the refugee camp, but also the effects that it has on a person – both physically and mentally.
I have to also say how much I loved the cover, it’s really striking and a couple of people asked me about it when I had my face buried in it when travelling. I enjoyed reading every second of this book, and it has a very unexpected ending. The Jungle really makes you think about life in the refugee camp and given the current state of affairs in the world, I think it’s definitely a topic that needs to be explored in literature more. This book did a brave and stunning job of it, and I’m very much looking forward to see what Pooja writes next!
Thanks for checking out my stop on the blog tour, be sure to check out the other stops listed below!