A Story Like the Wind / Before Reading / /

Amnesty International

Why is this book endorsed by Amnesty International?

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from A Story Like the Wind series

Text potential

  • Background knowledge: Amnesty International

Strategies used

  • Background Knowledge


For children who already have a reasonable knowledge of what it means to be a refugee, this lesson introduces the organisation Amnesty International and invites children to consider why Amnesty endorsed the book.


  • Image of the Amnesty International logo (see resources).


Read the endorsement on the back cover of the book. 

  • What is Amnesty International? Some children might know. If they are not familiar with the organisation, they are likely to know what international means but are less likely to know the word amnesty.

Look up the word ‘amnesty’ in a dictionary. 

  • Use more than one dictionary as definitions can have different nuances. If alternative definitions are present, decide which best fits the context.
Definition: a decision by a government that allows political prisoners to go free. 

If the children haven’t heard of the organisation, briefly introduce what it stands for. Amnesty International’s Mission Statement can be found on the website below. 

  • Which definition of amnesty best suits the mission of Amnesty International?

Now that we know what Amnesty International stands for, consider why the name might be printed on the back of this book? This is called an endorsement.

The logo is a candle circled by barbed wire. 

  • What does this symbol make you think about or feel? 
  • Would a candle without the barbed wire evoke different feelings? 
  • Would the barbed wire without the candle evoke different feelings?


Final reflection

A Chinese proverb inspired the Amnesty International logo, ‘Better to light a candle than curse the darkness’. Write this proverb on the board.

Check that children know what a proverb means and give the definition if needed:

a short saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice. 

Ask the children to share their ideas about what the proverb means.

Consider how a writer of stories might be able to, ‘light a candle rather than curse the darkness.’

Teacher’s note: You could revisit this session when discussing the themes after reading the book.

Key vocabulary

amnesty, asylum, refugee, proverb, endorsement


Amnesty International

A link to the mission statement and values of the organisation, Amnesty International.

Visit resource

Amnesty Logo

Amnesty Logo


Nikki Gamble

Nikki Gamble
Director, Just Imagine
Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature (4th edit) (2019) and co-author of Guiding Readers (2016) which was awarded the UKLA Academic Book of the Year Award 2017. Nikki is KS2 reading advisor and series consultant for Oxford University Press and content creator for the Oxford School Improvement and Oxford Owl websites. Nikki is Associate Consultant at the University of London, Institute of Education and Honorary Fellow at the University of Winchester

Read more