Published: 18 December 2023 at 11:00
ARU nursing lecturer’s story follows experiences of a seven-year-old new to the UK
A nursing lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has published a debut book delving into the challenges faced by child migrants to the UK.
The Diary of a Rising Son is a non-fiction book for children written by Chinenye Ubah, a lecturer in Adult Nursing at ARU. It revolves around Chinenye’s own seven-year-old son who, having moved to the UK a year earlier, grapples with the complexities of navigating a new school and finding his place among unfamiliar peers.
The book follows his journey, including both the positive and negative experiences he encounters. From innocent observations to the realisation of his own differences, the young boy faces a number of challenges, including difficulty mingling with others, taunts and bullying. Throughout the book, he grapples with the treatment he receives, questioning his participation in class, interaction with peers, and the handling of his concerns.
The heart of the book revolves around the transformative impact of a teacher's simple act of listening, which highlights the effect teachers can have on the lives of children facing these challenges.
Although written for children, The Diary of a Rising Son is also recommended for adults, and the book urges parents, educators, and policymakers to be vigilant to the subtle forms of discrimination that children of colour may encounter.
Chinenye, who is originally from Nigeria, said:
“I was inspired to write The Diary of a Rising Son because I want to draw attention to the situation of children of colour, especially those who did not start schooling in the UK at an early age. My hope is that parents will read this book, pay more attention to the stories of their children, and provide the necessary support.
“Additionally, on this International Migrants Day (18 December), I hope my book sends a message to schoolteachers and policymakers to implement practical strategies for promoting diversity and supporting children of colour in the educational system.”