Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Without Refuge by Jane Mitchell - ESSENTIAL

Mitchell, Jane Without Refuge 269 pages. Carolrhoda Books (Lerner), 2018. $16.99. Language: G Mature Content: PG Violence: PG

Ghalib is a 13-year-old boy living in war torn Syria. After he and his friend are injured when a barrel bomb explodes, his father decides that it is time to leave. Escaping will not be easy. First they must walk through the devastated city of Aleppo, barely surviving a child sniper, and then they become backlogged at the Turkish border. At one point Ghalib gets separated from his family, but they find each other again at a refugee camp. His father knows they must push on and cross the perilous Mediterranean Sea into Greece before their journey is over.

This book is a must addition to every school library’s historical fiction collection, because it depicts the devastation of a war that is happening right now. Kids will be amazed when they read this, especially when they realize it’s happening in real life as they read the book. The author did a great job of listing the names of children who have died or gone missing in the war. Of particular note is the mentioning of the drowned toddler on the beach in Greece who died trying to cross the sea. The photo went viral and kids who read the book will be especially heartbroken if they look at the photo online.

EL, MS – ESSENTIAL. Reviewer: Valerie McEnroe, Media Specialist


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