Well geeze, this one is a bit of a doozey! When I first looked at it I was worried I’d struggle to come up with a book, but I have one which could potentially address all three issues here.
The Happiest Refugee is a memoir by much loved Australian comedian Anh Do, who came out to Australia with his family from Vietnam as refugees on a boat when he was only 4 years old, and his little brother only 2. On the way to Australia they were robbed by pirates twice and barely escaped with their lives, and when they reached their destination eventually they faced hardship after hardship as Anh slowly moved through his childhood and teenage years. Despite all of this, he has a ridiculously optimistic attitude, and refuses to let anything bring him down too much. Perhaps it was this approach to life which later helped him to chase after the woman he loved and a career in comedy.
I love this book because Anh Do is just so likeable! He writes simply but from the heart, and although it almost seems cheesy at points you can tell he is very genuine and very grateful for everything that has happened in his life. There’s no sign of a sob story in here – he simply tells what happened to him and how he overcame it, and there’s something to be learned from that. A lot of people have a very different attitude to life and all the challenges it presents, and I think it can be eye-opening to read the story of somebody more positive. As somebody who has lived in Australia since the same age, and who had a much easier time migrating out here (and will do migrating back to Europe again), it makes me realise how lucky my family and I are for what we have had these past couple of decades.
The Happiest Refugee is definitely a book I would recommend to anybody who is ignorant, close-minded or racist, but I must add I would simply recommend it to anybody who wants an uplifting and quite inspiring read!
What book would you recommend for this topic?