Amir: Friend on Loan
Amir has been best friends with Dragan since they were in kinder and the boys are looking forward to starting high school together next year. Even though Amir’s parents are Bosnian Muslim and Dragan is of Serbian Orthodox background, the boys think of themselves as Australian and their cultural differences have never mattered ... until the Balkan war breaks out. Suddenly their family tells them that they are not supposed to be friends because Bosnians and Serbs are fighting overseas. Can they find a way to keep their friendship in the face of their family’s opposition?
STUDENTS: Year Level :07 and 08|
Amir: Friend on Loan is distributed by Cengage Learning.
Read a sample chapter here.
Amir: Friend on Loan is part of a The Third Space series is a unique project designed in response to the Australian Curriculum’s inclusion of the key elements of diversity competence: intercultural and ethical understanding, personal and social capability, and critical and creative thinking. Comprised of thirteen novellas, The Third Space aims to equip students with the requisite understandings, skills, attitudes and dispositions to deal with difference through reading stories focused on young protagonists.
This series takes students on an introductory journey out of their own world and into the intriguing world of human diversity. Students are given a unique opportunity to step out of their own space and into ‘the third space’ – a space where people of different cultural, racial and belief systems are understood and respected. The novellas provide the conceptual tools and imaginative space to help students discover and participate in this ‘third space’ where multi-culture and multi-faith are key components of a society that is rich, harmonious and inclusive.
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Available from the website here is a Educator’s Guide that covers all 13 novellas. It includes activities for English, Civics and Citizenship as well as the general capabilities and cross curricular priorities. It also looks at young Australians understanding of the world based on their cultural upbringing and how society has shaped them into the people they are today. This link of varying cultures allows higher order thinking skills and provides a rich and meaningful differentiation program for teachers to apply in their classroom. This allows teachers to accommodate for the varying degrees of students ability and provides a more authentic approach to their assessment tasks. The Guide comes with a DVD of author interviews.
'It tells the tale of a friendship strained by circumstances out of the boys' control and explains the reasons behind the Balkan war in terms a young person can grasp... [Amir: Friend on Loan] provide[s] insights into the individual lived experience. It is through learning about other people's stories that empathy and respect ultimately grow... [it] encourage[s] intercultural understanding and the recognition that emotions and questions of identity are universal.' Jodi Wiley, Viewpoint, Vol 22, No 1.