Book Review: Mustafa’s Jumper

Title: Mustafa’s Jumper

Written by: Coral rumble

Illustrated by: Charlotte Cooke

Published by: Wacky Bee

Mustafas Jumper

Mustafa’s Jumper is based on a poem of the same name also by Coral Rumble. The poem won the prestigious Caterpillar Poetry Prize in 2018. Rewritten in prose this story gives a child’s point of view of having a refugee who speaks no English, temporarily in your class at school and how they feel when the child is sent back to the country they were trying to escape from, which is highlighted by the single school uniform jumper that is left behind in the cloakroom.

It is written in Milo’s point of view, a quiet introvert boy whose best friend, Eddie, is the total opposite. Eddie get chosen to look after the new boy but has no idea what to say or do with a boy who can’t speak his language. Milo understands what it is like to feel like an outsider so he does what he can to include him: he plays with him, shows him what to do and where to go, and invites him home to tea. Milo and Mustafa become good friends.

Throughout the book it highlights patience and kindness by showing how Milo helps his new friend. The ‘show not tell’ plot is ideal for demonstrating and developing empathy in young children.

This is a great book for triggering discussion in the classroom about immigration, asylum seekers and refugees. There is a page at the back that talks about reasons why people have to leave countries and how sometimes people leave their homes because of war, a natural disaster or terrorism means it is too dangerous to stay. It also highlights how difficult it can be starting from scratch in a new country and explains some people like Mustafa are sent back. Could be used for discussion in both KS1 and KS2.

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