The Stray and the Strangers
The Stray & the Strangers, published in Canada and the USA September 29, 2020 by Groundwood Books
• Illustrations by Melissa Iwai www.melissaiwai.com
• Audiobook to be released by Recorded Books. Narrator: Frankie Corzo
“Poignant, heartwarming.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A wonderful story for young readers”
Jacket copy description:
The fishermen on Lesvos call her Kanella because of her cinnamon color. She’s a scrawny, nervous stray — easily intimidated by the harbor cats and the other dogs that compete for handouts on the pier.
One spring day a dinghy filled with weary, desperate strangers comes to shore. Other boats follow, laden with refugees who are homeless and hungry. Kanella knows what that is like, and she follows them as they are taken to a makeshift refugee camp in the parking lot of an abandoned nightclub. There she comes to trust a bearded man — an aid worker. She gradually settles into a contented routine, given shelter like the other refugees who line up for food and sleep on the ground for a few nights before being taken to a much bigger, permanent camp that the aid workers call Mordor.
Kanella grows healthy and confident. She has a job now — to keep watch over the people in her camp.
One day, a little boy arrives and does not leave like the others. He seems to have no family and, like Kanella, he is taken in by the workers. He sleeps on a cot in the food hut, and Kanella keeps him warm and calm. And then two new adults come to the camp. Kanella is ready to defend the boy from them, until she is pulled away by the bearded man. They are the boy’s parents, and now he must go with them.
The camp is eventually dismantled, and Kanella finds herself homeless again. Until one night, huddled in the cold, she awakens to see two bright lights shining in her eyes — the headlights of a car. The bearded man has come back for her, and soon Kanella is on a journey, too, to a new home of her own.