When a new family moves in next door, Joe's mom explains that they are asylum seekers. But Joe hears that they are silence seekers, especially when Mom adds that they need peace and quiet. When he sees a young boy from the family sitting on the steps, Joe decides to help him find a nice quiet place, but unfortunately the city is very noisy!
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Ben Morley is a teacher. Carl Pearce is the illustrator of Attention Girls!, Ferris Fleet the Wheelchair Wizard, and The Night the Lights Went Out.From School Library Journal:
Grade 2–4—When Joe notices a new boy next door, Mum tells him that his neighbor is an "asylum seeker," which Joe mistakenly transforms into "a Silence Seeker." In a way, he is not far off the mark. With two jam sandwiches in hand, Joe takes this stranger all over the city to show him all the quiet places. While the new boy remains silent himself, Joe realizes that in a city there are no silent places; noise is everywhere. "We went down to the dump....But there was a bench full of down-and-outs, mumbling and groaning and crying at the world." Joe's attempt to befriend his neighbor is rewarded when the youngster holds his hand as they walk home together. The next day, however, the child and his family have disappeared, and Joe wonders if they left in search of silence. Despite the mention of "asylum seekers," the term is never explained or fleshed out in any way. The comic-book style illustrations never reveal the ethnicity of the new boy so tying him to a specific culture is not possible. Teachers who are searching for a book with a different take on immigration—"forced immigration," really—might find this useful, but it has limited child appeal.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
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