Powerful Story for Children

This is a powerful story for children and even adults.  It looks at the plight of refugees from both a current and historical perspective, and it does it in an action packed narrative that will have readers on the edge of their seats.  When kids wonder why we study history, we tell them we are doomed to repeat it if we don’t and they roll their eyes.  This book perfectly illustrates what every parent and teacher who has uttered that phrase means, and it even opened my eyes to the connections of the past.

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Title: Refugeerefugee powerful story for children

Author: Alan Gratz

Target: Grades 6 and up

Series: No

What this book is about:

This books tells the story of three children who are refugees. The first, Josef is a Jewish boy who is living in Nazi Germany. He is fleeing to Cuba to avoid the concentration camps. The second is Isabel. She is leaving Castro controlled Cuba in the ‘90s now that food shortages have left her family scrounging for something to eat. They are also living with the fear that the police will imprison her father for outbursts against the government. The final refugee is from current day Syria. Mahmood has seen his home town Aleppo destroyed by bombs. When his apartment is literally blown in half, the family must leave immediately. This story alternates between the children, recounting their harrowing journeys to freedom.

Why I love this book:

  • Ok this one blew me away. The first thing I thought of was that history is doomed to repeat itself over and over again. This book will challenge kid’s thinking on refugees and open their hearts to the plights of these victims. The similarities between the stories is eery and only serves to highlight that we have a long way to go in building understanding and compassion. Thankfully books like this continue to open our hearts and minds.
  • I must warn readers that this book is hard to read in some places. The author has not spared us any tragedy in these stories. The ending may not always be happy, but there is a realistic and hopeful trajectory to these narratives.
  • While the stories are fiction, each one is based on actual events. The author outlines these in the back of the book. So while some poetic license is taken to move the stories along, the events are realistic.
  • This one is an edge of your seat adventure so buckle up.

Who this book is for:

If your kids like historical fiction then this a good choice. Also if you want to expose your kids to the human cost of the refugees in Syria this book is absolutely a must read. Reluctant readers will enjoy the fast pace, non stop action and shorter chapters. This book reminded me in some ways of Echo, so if your kids enjoyed that one, this book is a good fit.

Final thoughts:

I love how the stories were tied together in the end. May we start to learn from our past because sometimes patterns are difficult to find if they aren’t laid out before us.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Refugee.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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