Powerful Human Story: Review of Detention

Powerful Human Story: Review of Detention

Sima, a young refugee from Afghanistan, has been living in a detention centre in Australia, waiting to find out if she will be able to stay and start a new life or be sent back home to a place where she isn’t safe.

When a protester cuts the wire fence surrounding the centre, Sima, her family and 50 other detainees have an opportunity to escape. Despite being scared Sima must keep quiet, follow instructions and crawl along the ground to avoid alerting the security guards.

Despite her best efforts Sima lets out a sneeze and within seconds everyone is running. She doesn’t know where she is going and soon loses sight of her parents but she must keep going – what is the alternative?

Dan is a compassionate high school student who has been neglected by his parents. He attends a school where this isn’t so unusual, a place where many kids go to school without breakfast and exist on the fringes. Yet Dan has managed to still hold on to his belief in justice and that there is good to be found in the world.

When the school goes into lockdown and Dan finds Sima frightened and hiding in the school toilets, he’s not sure what to do. Should he report Sima and send her back to the detention centre or should he disregard what the Border Force officers with guns have told him to do and try to help her?

Set over a very short time period, and told from the perspective of both Sima and Dan, Detention gives 11 + readers a more personal and relatable face on the story of refugees and detention centres. It encourages them to question what they would do if this was their reality and explores themes around what is morally right, when it’s important to show courage, and standing up for what you believe in.

Australian author Tristan Bancks has created a fictional but thoroughly researched, fast paced, suspenseful and ultimately hopeful story. In the author’s notes he shares a timeline created for Sima and her family detailing their journey from Afghanistan that will help young readers understand what refugees go through in order to escape to safety.

With this powerful story, Bancks has definitely achieved his goal of telling a human story rather than a political one and we expect to see this book on school reading lists across the country.

Purchase a copy of Detention by Tristan Bancks | Read an extract

Tristan Bancks tells stories for the page and screen. His books for kids and teens include Two Wolves, The Fall, Detention and the Tom Weekly series. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. The Fall was a CBCA Notable Book and shortlisted for the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. Tristan’s books have also been recognised in multiple children’s choice awards. Tristan is a writer-ambassador for literacy charity Room to Read. He is currently working with producers to develop several of his books for the screen. He’s excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. You can find out more about Tristan’s books, play games, watch videos, chat to the author and help him try to change the world at www.tristanbancks.com.

 

 

 

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Synopsis

A terrified woman runs for the door, her final effort to escape a cruel and controlling fiancé. She is too late. A secret camera captures him covering her mouth to suppress her screams as he drags her back inside.69 seconds later Lisa Harnum is dead. But Simon Gittany insists he has done nothing wrong- he claims his beautiful partner died for a secret she feared would be exposed.The grainy final image of Lisa alive would later horrify a nation, a chilling reminder that the greatest harm can come to us from the hands of those we love. It was also the first hint police had that all was not what it seemed with the outwardly charismatic Gittany.What was Lisa's secret? Did the bubbly Canadian hide a past she would die to protect? How far did Gittany, a man with a criminal past, go to watch her every move and conversation?Police sensed a ruse the man who installed cameras in every room in his luxury apartment was trying to lead them off track with tales of his troubled lover's final days. Their suspicions are further confirmed when it emerges his well-kept recording devices had been switched off only hours before Lisa died.With only two witnesses to that final minute, one who can no longer speak, detectives question if they could ever prove a charge of murder.A week later, a grieving, distraught mother in Toronto answers the phone. A man who looked up 15 storeys into the city skyline has come forward. And what he's seen changes everything.The Fall goes behind the headlines of the country's most captivating court case to bring the story of how Lisa fell in love and grew to fear her fiance. It reveals that while Lisa couldn't escape the danger of Simon Gittany she left behind clues to help catch a killer from beyond the grave.

Synopsis

One wolf is bad – pride, jealousy, greed. The other wolf is good – kindness, hope, truth. The child asks, ‘Who will win?' The grandfather answers simply, ‘The one you feed.'One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver's front door. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they're going on a holiday. But are they?
It doesn't take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble. Ben's always dreamt of becoming a detective – his dad even calls him ‘Cop'. Now Ben gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done.The problem is, if he figures it out, what does he do? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run?
 
Penguin Random House Australia
About the author

Penguin Random House Australia

Books by Penguin Random House Australia

Tristan Bancks
About the author

Tristan Bancks

Tristan Bancks is a children's and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include Two Wolves, the My Life series (weird-funny-gross short stories featuring Tom Weekly) and Mac Slater, Coolhunter. His short films as writer and director have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. Tristan is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create.

Books by Tristan Bancks

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