The Boat People by Sharon Bala

The Boat People

Sharon Bala

Mahindan and his young son, Sellian, flee their war-torn homeland of Sri Lanka and board a boat to Canada, hoping for a better life there. As Mahindan waits in jail for his lawyer and the adjudicator to decide his future, Sellian is taken into foster care where he begins a new life in a democratic society. This candid insight into the desperation of asylum seekers was sobering, so be prepared to be moved by this timely tale, just as I was.


In Canada, they had a different conception of death. When a child was lost, his face was on the news every day. At home, everyone knew where the missing children went; there was no point in searching. In Sri Lanka, death was a fact of life. Here, it was an affront.

  • The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
  • Cities Without Palms by Tarek Eltayeb
  • We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard