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The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Unforgotten Coat tells the story of two Mongolian refugee brothers living in a small British town near Liverpool.
Julie, the story’s narrator, now a young woman
with a child of her own, tells a story she is reminded of from her childhood.
When they first arrive in school their classmates are curious and fascinated by their afghan coats and stories of Mongolian life. With the help of Julie, whom they name their ‘good guide’, they soon fit in to school life and the three become good friends. However, Chingis and Nergui are afraid that a demon is chasing them and they enlist Julie’s help in outwitting it.
The story is based on a real Mongolian girl who was deported with her family. Frank Cottrell Boyce takes the girl’s story and turns it into another of his characteristically funny and moving stories for children. The book explores the refugee experience as well as issues of identity and an unfamiliar culture in a realistic and accessible way.
The text is written and presented as that of a child’s
exercise book with Polaroid photos taken by Chingis of Mongolian scenes
and places. It is an excellent read for anyone from pre-teens upwards