A New York Times bestseller!
JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .
ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .
MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .
All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.
This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It’s one thing to read news stories and historical accounts about the plights of refugees throughout time; it's another to be brought into their hearts and minds through fiction. Alan Gratz’s book skips between the stories of young migrants escaping from, among other places, Nazi Germany and today’s Syria. His protagonists are lively narrators who bear witness to their community’s hardships and the larger political landscape in an age-appropriate way. Refugee is a great book for kids with an interest in history and social justice.
In this hard-hitting novel, Gratz (Projekt 1065) skillfully intertwines the stories of three protagonists seeking asylum with their respective families. Twelve-year-old Josef is fleeing Nazi Germany on a ship headed for Cuba in 1939; in 1994, 11-year-old Isabel leaves Cuba for the United States aboard a boat; and 12-year-old Mahmoud leaves Syria in 2015 after a bomb destroys his family's apartment building. Though set in different political landscapes, the harrowing narratives share a sense of urgency, danger, and sacrifice, and the brief chapters keep each story fresh in readers' minds. Each character confronts exceptional challenges: Josef must behave as the adult when his father returns shattered from a concentration camp, and Mahmoud realizes that the invisibility he cultivated in Aleppo is less of an asset in Greece ("They only see us when we do something they don't want us to do"). Filled with both tragic loss and ample evidence of resilience, these memorable and tightly plotted stories contextualize and give voice to current refugee crises, underscoring that these journeys are born out of a desperate need for security and safety. Ages 9 12.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I’m in the sevenths grade and I love this book. It can get confusing at times when you’re not paying attention to who the chapter is talking about but once you get used to it after three or four chapters it’s one of the best books you’ll ever read. At times it can be very sad and at times it can be very heartwarming. To the people who have the privilege to read this book we were fortunate that we are not in different harsh time and situations like these three children.
this book was amazing 🤩
this book was far beyond a good book this book was AMAZING
Bes5 book and author
This book is my favorite book from Allan gratz. This book got me started on his books, and there all amazing, 😜😜