Sima and her family are pressed to the rough, cold ground among fifty others. They lie next to the tall fence designed to keep them in. The wires are cut one by one.
When they make their escape, a guard raises the alarm. Shouting, smoke bombs, people tackled to the ground. In the chaos Sima loses her parents.
Dad told her to run, so she does, hiding in a school and triggering a lockdown. A boy, Dan, finds her hiding in the toilet block.
What should he do? Help her? Dob her in? She's breaking the law, but is it right to lock kids up? And if he helps, should Sima trust him? Or run?
THIS MOMENT, THESE DECISIONS, WILL CHANGE THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES.
This story is told in a brief six-hour period where fifty refugees are attempting to escape from a detention centre. Twelve-year-old Sima and her family, refugees from Afghanistan, are among them, but they soon get split up in the chaos.
Dan, who lives almost parentless in a nearby caravan park, discovers Sima in the toilet block at school. But now what? Should he help her? Or dob her in to the Border Patrol and Federal Police guys that are searching everywhere to find these escapees?
Told in typical Tristan Bancks cut to the chase style, this is a fantastic, real and topical story. With themes of humanity, family, personal circumstances, compassion and mostly hope, Detention is a wonderful discussion starter for readers aged 10 - 14.
Reviewed by Rob