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  • Writer's pictureMuslim Kids Book Nook

Escape From Syria by Sumya Kullab, Jackie Roche, Mike Freiheit

๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW ๐Ÿ“š Title: Escape From Syria Authors/Illustrators: Sumya Kullab, Jackie Roche, Mike Freiheit Publisher: Firefly Books Age: 13+ ๐ŸŒŸ Islamic Content: Muslim Family refugee story ๐ŸŒŸ Concerns: Graphic Imagery, violence, death, child marriage discussed ๐ŸŒŸ Summary: Amina recounts everything from the beginning: it all started with an explosion that destroyed their home. This loss caused her and her family to leave Syria for Lebanon. However, things didn't seem to be going smoothly. Her little brother's sickness requires medication they can't afford. So Amina is obliged to leave school and work due to complications to her parent's legal status in Lebanon. Her father takes a loan to pay smugglers to get him to Germany but that attempt fails. However, his life is now in danger, he is taunted and physically attacked for the debt he owes. Since Amina's father is home bound in the refugee camp, all the responsibilities fall on her for income and aid from the UN shelter. When the UN shelter hears her devastating story, her family gets a call to relocate to another country. ๐ŸŒŸ Review: When I first read this book I was taken aback by the explicit graphic content. So I had to let it sink in and go back to reading it knowing what to expect. The imagery of this book is quite bold and doesn't hold anything back. Along the fictional story, it includes background information on the history of Syria and what has lead to how things got here. Some of these realities are really heartbreaking for the Syrians, life in the camp, lack of their rights in Lebanon, the scams of the smugglers, sicknesses and lack of easy access to medication. This book really does portray the hardships of those looking for resettlement especially through Amina's mother and her attachment to her home. Even after they have moved overseas to Canada, it is evident that adjusting to new life, new challenges and attitudes required more effort than they ever imagined. This story jumps back and forth between Lebanon and Canada which I had to get accustomed to. ๐ŸŒŸ There is a random character (Amina's classmate) that suddenly appears to invite Amina to her wedding, although she is 13 years old. What really bothers me is that this classmate hasn't been mentioned once in the storyline, then she appears out of thin air just for this. ๐ŸŒŸ Overall, it serves as an introduction to the atrocities that are happening in Syria with some non-fiction background information for the mature pre-teens and older. The end of the book has a few pages with bits of facts about the realities that inspired this story. ๐ŸŒŸ #escapefromsyria #refugeestory #muslimkidsbooks #islamickidsbooks #muslimauthor #muslimkidslit #raisingmuslimreaders

Sep 2/2020

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