23 May 2023

The book of the month – A(ni)mal by Cécile Alix

by Redaction NOW Village

A moving and accomplished teenage novel, forged by an “A(ni)mal” force, the reader will be drawn into this painful adventure to better understand the price of hope for a better world.

At the age of 15, Miran was forced to flee his war-torn country, along with his two brothers who died during the flight. His mother had his head shaved, attached hermetic tubes filled with money to his chest, gave him his last recommendations and ordered him never to reveal his name, his country or to return. 

Under the direction of Ahmed, whose network of smugglers was safe according to his mother, Miran, along with 18 other people, was crammed into a vehicle and locked in a cellar for hours before setting off. Along the way, Miran will have to endure hardships far worse than he could have imagined. Hunger, thirst, heat, violence and the indifference of the smugglers, the raging sea and clandestinity will accompany the young man throughout, and even if death haunts him, the generosity and benevolence of some of the people he meets on his way will give him the strength and courage to continue. Cécile Alix describes the difficult but hopeful journey of young Miran with touching intensity and accuracy. This moving and accomplished novel is forged by an “A(ni)mal” force, the reader will not remain a witness, he too will be embarked in this exodus in search of hope and justice.

Author and lecturer, Cécile Alix was born in 1972 in the east of France and now lives in Bourg-en-Bresse. A prolific author, she writes albums, stories, novels, plays and comics for children, teenagers and young adults. At the same time, Cécile Alix is interested in social pedagogy and works with young people with cognitive disorders, as well as training teachers. The author won the Prix RTS Littérature Ados 2023 for this novel. The jury, made up of seven young people aged 13 to 15, each representing a canton in French-speaking Switzerland, met on 25 February at the RTS offices in Lausanne to select the winner. More than 600 teenagers in French-speaking Switzerland had previously discussed the five books in the running for the prize in their classes or book clubs. The young jury was touched by the detailed description of a reality that we often hear about but clearly do not know, and the “poetic writing” used by the author was also applauded.

A(ni)mal, by Cécile Alix – Editions Slalom, 2022

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Cécile Alix