Without Refuge
Without Refuge
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Annotation: Forced to leave his home in war-torn Syria, thirteen-year-old Ghalib makes an arduous journey with his family to a refugee camp in Turkey.
Catalog Number: #157242
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 282 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-541-50050-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-541-50050-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017026040
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
A civil war has torn Syria apart between the government and extremists, and Ghalib recalls when the country was beautiful and vibrant with schools, libraries, and stores. Now he and his cousin loot in bombed-out areas. When a looting opportunity goes awry, Ghalib shows his bravery as he saves his cousin's life, even though they both suffer severe injuries. When a government army unit comes to Ghalib's house to recruit him and his family to serve in the war, his parents decide to uproot the family and find a better place to live. Taking what limited possessions they have, Ghalib and his family begins a perilous journey, leaving their home country and making their way to Europe. Young readers will gain insight into the harrowing journey refugees take to make better lives for themselves. Mitchell takes on a sensitive topic with empathy and compassion, helping readers understand the hardships that refugees face and exploring the diversity of Syria through religion, language, and ethnicity. A great introduction into learning about a highly relevant humanitarian refugee crisis.
Kirkus Reviews
After narrowly surviving an airstrike, Ghalib suddenly finds himself being forced to join the Kurdish Protection Units or else risk his life fleeing to Europe.Ghalib wanted nothing more than to become a pharmacist like his father. Instead, he spends his days dodging barrel bombs and missiles. The city of Kobani, where Ghalib lives with his family, is constantly under attack, leaving little left of the once-vibrant hub of Kurdish life. Ghalib refuses to be another soldier in the Syrian war, so instead he and his family embark on a harrowing journey to escape what was once their home. The arduous path to safety crosses through dangerous Islamic State-held territory and the Turkish border, where only steadfast courage and exceptional luck can get travelers out alive. Along the way, Ghalib will find himself separated and alone, searching for any sign of home among the thousands of refugees fleeing for their lives. Through everything, one question continues to linger in the back of Ghalib's mind: Will Europe let us in? Writing in Ghalib's present-tense voice, Mitchell pens a vivid narrative of the displacement, loss, and sheer bravery of Syrian children traversing land and sea, surviving bullets, bombs, and the tumultuous Mediterranean to begin a new life. While this part of the story excels, Mitchell glosses over the humanitarian crimes of all of the warring parties in Syria, emphasizing those of the Islamic State over the Syrian government's, which leads readers new to the subject to believe that the main perpetrators of violence are Islamist groups.Read for the sympathetic portrayal of Syrian refugees, but look elsewhere for geopolitical nuance. (Fiction. 10-14)
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ALA Booklist (2/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
Word Count: 51,494
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 505400 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 610L
Guided Reading Level: O

Thirteen-year-old Ghalib wishes his life could go back to normal. He wishes he could still hang out at the market with his friends, root for his favorite soccer team, even go to school. But civil war has destroyed his home. As violence rages around them, his family makes the difficult choice to flee Syria. Together they start out on a dangerous journey toward Europe. Along the way, they encounter closely guarded borders, hardscrabble refugee camps, and an ocean crossing that they may not survive. The gripping story of one boy's journey to find refuge pays tribute to struggles millions of Syrians face in today's real-world crisis.

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