Book Recommendation

“Coast to coast” by David Fermer

The school bell rings. Two English lessons are up next. That is going to be exhausting! At the beginning of the lesson our English teacher shows us the cover of a novel and we describe the picture and speculate what the story might be about.

Now we are a bit curious. When we open our English books, we are stunned. What? Do we really have to read such a long extract from a novel? There are so many unknown words! Will we manage?

While listening to the pleasant voice of the narrator we read along. It is the beginning of the novel “Coast to coast” by David Fermer published in 2016. Slowly we are drawn into the story …

We get to know Cooper, a teenager from Darwin in Australia, who has an argument with his father. Angrily he goes to the beach to calm down, where he discovers the 17-year-old Bashir, a half-drowned Afghan illegal immigrant. After saving his life, Cooper invites Bashir to a restaurant, collects food and clothes from his home and hides him in his father’s beach hut. He only tells his best friend Kate about Bashir. Kate thinks Cooper is crazy and that he should immediately inform his father. 

The extract from the novel ends here. 

And now? Will Cooper tell his father about Bashir? Will Kate inform the police? Why did Bashir leave his home country? Will Bashir be allowed to stay in Australia?  Will he have to return to Afghanistan? We would like to know more …

Therefore, in the next few lessons we read several chapters from this novel and additionally, we learn how to write a summary: umbrella sentence, no quotes, present tense, no direct speech, main facts only … Wow, it’s not as easy as it seems!

Of course, what is more exciting is Bashir’s story!

After a couple of weeks, Cooper’s father coincidentally finds out about Bashir. He takes Bashir home where the young immigrant tells his story, and we feel with him. Bashir ‘s father has been brutally killed by a Taliban fighter and Bashir has witnessed the murder. To save his own life he has decided to take the risk and he has fled from Afghanistan. No wonder that Cooper’s family decides to help Bashir to become a legal immigrant. Cooper’s father thinks of a plan that seems to work in the beginning. Bashir is taken to an immigration centre in Darwin but when Cooper wants to visit Bashir, he finds out that Bashir is transferred to a camp on the South Pacific island nation of Nauru. 

When Mrs Benning shows us some pictures of the detention camp in Nauru, we are shocked. The camp is in the middle of nowhere, overcrowded, there are just a few places to shower, simple tents, and uncomfortable beds. It is a horrible place, and we understand why Kate and Cooper want to help Bashir. What they do not know yet is that Bashir meets his father’s murderer in the camp…

Kate, Cooper and 24 other students start a protest against the terrible conditions in Nauru. They take boxes with food and water, tents, sleeping bags and mats to the third floor of their school, hang up banners, padlock the doors from inside and set up a camp. The young protestors get a lot of attention in the media all over the world. They are described as courageous young students who speak out against injustice.

If you want to know whether Kate and Cooper can free Bashir, we definitely recommend reading “Coast to coast”.

We really liked reading the novel because it deals with many important problems of our time. It has an interesting plot and many unexpected turns. In addition, it is written from different perspectives and that is why the reader feels close to the protagonists. It is a very warm, heartfelt, and emotional story of a true friendship.

Written by Katarina, Anh, Lara, Felix, Anes, Isabella, Willi, Erik and Michelle (9.4)