African refugee who grew up in Maine inspires children’s book | Taiwan News
KITTERY, Maine (AP) — An African refugee has collaborated on a children’s book that’s inspired by his experience growing up in Maine’s largest city.
Terry Farish of Kittery wrote the book with OD Bonny, which inspired “A Feast for Joseph”. It tells the story of a young refugee adjusting to a new life in Portland.
Although he has found a better life, Joseph still longs for the family and friends – and the food – he left behind in a refugee camp.
“He still has good friends there, so he misses all the people, how they cooked and the music, and that’s why he’s homesick,” Farish told WMTW-TV.
In the book, Joseph makes a friend and they cook an African feast that brings the community together.
“I think the friendship is one of the most important things that comes out of this book, but personally for me what I love most is the tradition and the food,” said Bonny, whose family fled South Sudan. The family ended up at Kyangwali refugee camp in Uganda before coming to Maine. Bonny has since moved to Nebraska.
After the two met in 2013, Bonny performed a rap he created about a young adult novel Farish wrote about a Sudanese immigrant who settled in Maine, she told Seacoastonline.com.
The new book is aimed at primary school children. It was published in September by Groundwood Books of Toronto.
It was exemplified by Canadian Ken Daley, himself the son of immigrants, who also said that the history of homesickness and connection to culture and food resonated with him. “My parents emigrated from Dominica to Canada, so yes, I drew on my family background to help illustrate the story,” he told The Associated Press.
Maine is the whitest state in the country, but it is home to a growing population of immigrants and refugees from Africa.
There is a Somali population numbering over 10,000, mostly based in Portland and Lewiston. There have also been significant numbers of immigrants from other African countries.