Cover Image: The Stray and the Strangers

The Stray and the Strangers

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Member Reviews

Heighton gives an interesting take on the refugee story, all told from the perspective of the dog Kanella. I think for an elementary reader it makes the sadness and difficulty of the refugees plight more approachable. However, I think the point of the story is easily lost if the young reader doesn't read the afterword or receive additional information from a parent/teacher. Young readers will enjoy Kanella's story and her imagined happy ending. All in all, I think it is worth a read. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Kanella is a cinnamon color scrawny stray dog that is aware of her seaside town and the visitors. She is lonely and hungry, but finds her sporadic meals at the dock.  She has to fight for her scraps with the other homeless cats and dogs. This sweet story gives the reader the experience of refugees, food tents, and the volunteers that selflessly give their time.  Each volunteer , Kanella included has a job to do.  Kanella finds that not all humans are mean and ruthless some are kind and loving.  With the relationships Kanella and the humans she interacts with she learns to trust humans and care for them. .
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“The Stray and the Stranger” is a wonderful story and I enjoyed reading the book. I would use this as a read aloud or in a small group/book study setting in a 3rd or 4th grade classroom. I would also recommend it this bike to a reluctant reader who loves dogs.
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A BIG Thank You to Netgalley and Groundwood Books for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy of “The Stray and the Strangers” for my review.

I enjoyed reading this cute children’s book! I am very happy that there are more children’s books published highlighting such essential topics. Moreover, I think it is important for everyone to read such books to understand the difficult life of refugees. It also highlights the hardships they face when their whole livelihood is no more. This tale highlights the lives of millions of refugees who came to Lesvos after fleeing war. It is told from the perspective of a stray dog Kanella, the stray dog.

Kanella is adorable as the main character and gives the book a feel of innocence from trying to understand the situation. In fact, I loved how the character balanced the seriousness of the theme with the light-hearted nature of Kanella, when she interacts with the refugees. I also love the bond she develops with the bearded man and the boy. However, I wish the story had been longer for us to know more about the people that Kanella interacts with. At the same time, I think the way it was told was apt since we only see the story from Kanella’s view.

I really liked the author’s style of writing and hope to read more of his works int he future. The illustrations by Melissa Iwai also compliment the story well. Overall, this is an interesting book to read.
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