Alem's dad is Ethiopian & his Mum is Eritrean. The 2 countries go to war. Soldiers come, shoot about, then tell them to leave or die. They dub Alem as a mongrel. Alem & his father go to England leaving his mum behind. Alem is confused & scared about what is happening.
We are the Fitzgerald's!
Once in England, Alem & his dad stay in a hotel. After two days, Alem wakes up to find that his dad is gone. The manager of the hotel calls in people from the Refugee Council.
My dearest son, I am afraid that I have to tell you some very bad news. Remember I told you in my last letter that darkness is upon the land? Well, my son, please prepare yourself for what I have to say. This is very bad news. Your mother has died. I want you to be strong. It is very difficult for me here, I will be leaving here and joining you. I long to see you and I promise you I will be with you soon.
The council places Alem into a home for boys which he is disappointed by. Alem is treated badly so he tries to run away from there but returns because he does not know where to go.
Yes son, this is where I live
This is where you live?!?!
Mariam from the Refugee Council comes to see him. He is relocated to the Fitzgeralds. Alem feels happy and shy that he is in a different home. Alem starts a new school. He meets Robert there.
Alem's dad sends Alem a letter saying that his mum has died & that he is trying to come back to England. Sheila who is working for Alem to stay in England uses this to strengthen his case.
Alem's dad returns but has to live in a very rundown motel. Alem is excited but angry that his father is living in a unhealthy place. Sheila begins working for the both of them. Robert and other classmates begin a campaign to keep Alem and his dad in England.