Title: The Day War Came
Author: Nicola Davies
Illustrator: Rebecca Cobb
Publisher: Walker Books (2018)
“The day war came there were flowers on the windowsill and my father sang my baby brother back to sleep. My mother made my breakfast, kissed my nose and walked with me to school.” As the girl sits in school, she is oblivious to the helicopter in the distance. “At first, just like a spattering of hail, a voice of thunder… than all smoke and fire and noise I didn’t understand.”
Returning home all she finds is a blackened hole. Alone, she follows a stream of refugees escaping over fields, roads, mountains. Reaching a makeshift town of huts the girl finds a dark corner to rest. “But war has followed me. It was underneath my skin, behind my eyes, and in my dreams. It had taken possession of my heart.” Exploring her environment she is met with suspicion and doors shut in her face.
Coming across a school she bravely went inside. The teacher told her “There is no room for you, you see. There is no chair for you to sit on. You have to go away.” In her hut, she hides under her blanket, exhausted and desolate. Woken by a knock on the door she finds a boy holding a chair. “It was a chair. A chair for me to sit on and learn… And drive the war out of my heart.” It wasn’t the only chair. All the school children brought a chair for each refugee child.