Christophe's Story themes

Books for Breakfast

Christophes Story-webThis morning’s session led to some very interesting discussion about the themes raised in our novel ‘Christophe’s Story’. We learned about Christophe’s life in Rwanda; the danger he and his family found themselves in. His ‘Papa’ had been forced, against his will, to join the army: ‘men with painted faces carrying knives’. Christophe’s family home had been set alight, his baby brother killed and he himself grazed by a passing bullet as conflict broke out.

We discussed why Christophe and his family ‘had’ to leave their home country and how it would feel to be refugee.

- What it is that makes people need to leave their homeland
- What it means to be ’displaced’.

We also discussed the notion that once refugees arrive in a country such as England ‘of course they will be happy’. We discovered that it would not be that simple.

This led us on the sharing Brian Bilston’s poem ‘Refugee’ – a hard hitting viewpoint that we all found quite shocking.

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

Brian Bilston


The pupils were then read the poem again, this time from the end to the beginning and were astounded by the hugely different poem that unfolded; a completely opposing viewpoint and different perspective.