Originally published in: 2017
What’s it about: A child’s account of surviving and escaping the ongoing war in Syria.
What made me pick it up: Bana Alabed’s pleas for peace and assistance reached the world through Twitter, but I knew her book would tell a more complete story.
My favorite things: Bana’s clear voice is heartwrenching, a reminder to care for refugees. Her mother, Fatemah, includes essays written for Bana, explaining her point of view and her experiences. Their words in concert with each other serve to humanize the numbers and news reports and give a personal story to the images of Syrian children that have circulated widely.
Who it’s great for: Adults and teens trying to understand the war in Syria. Readers who to understand what the day to day struggle is like in the Syrian Civil War, and those wanting to build empathy for refugees.
Find this in your local library or on Amazon (affiliate link).
Originally published: 2017
What it’s about: A Syrian refugee and her many tales of suffering and escape.
What made me pick it up?: It was on one list or another about refugees.
My favorite things: This book is stunning. I cannot believe how much struggle this woman has gone through. The author tells the story of Doaa and her family and their experiences masterfully. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. If you or someone you know doesn’t fully understand the crisis in Syria it will be indelibly etched in your brain after reading this. It will make you feel powerless and driven to enact change all at once.
Who it’s great for: This has horrifically violent scenes so it’s better suited for mature teens or adults. Anyone interested in learning more about the refugee crisis or the long war in Syria.
Find this book on Amazon (affiliate link) or in your local library.
Originally published in: 2016
What it’s about: A boy is set adrift on an ocean with only his backpack and his teacup of dirt from home.
What made me pick it up: It was on a list of books for children about refugees and the illustrations looked amazing.
My favorite things: I was not mistaken. These illustrations are, exactly as they are described in the cover blurb, stunning. The story of a boy adrift looking for a new land with only the things he can carry is very moving and simply told so that even young children will understand. It reminded me strongly of a children’s version of The Life of Pi, but this focused much more on hope.
Who it’s great for: Fans of beautiful illustration. Parents who want to talk about refugees with their children.
Pick up a copy at Amazon (affiliate link) or are your local library.
Originally published in: 2017
What it’s about: A touching picture book about one refugee family’s experience fleeing their home, and the even more unbelievable story of the cat they took with them.
What made me pick it up: It was on a list of children’s books about refugees and as a cat person it piqued my interest so I placed it on hold.
My favorite things: This book beautifully illustrates the hardships that face many families fleeing areas of the world like Syria. I may have been having an emotional day, but it brought me to tears how much something so universal as the love of a pet helped bring people together across countries to reunite this pet with his family.
Who it’s great for: Young readers who want to learn more about refugees. Cat lovers. Those who want a perfect example of how much good there is in the world.
Find Lost and Found Cat on Amazon (affiliate link) or at your local library.