Escape from Aleppo

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Writing a story that explores a different culture and the human tragedy as a country descends from normalcy to civil war through the eyes of a teen (and for teens) is no easy task. This book starts when Nadia’s house is bombed and her family makes its way to the Turkish border. Nadia gets separated from her family and needs to make her way alone. On her way, she befriends other Syrians – strangers who show kindness toward one another and help each other navigate through the perils of daily living. During the journey, we learn about Nadia’s life when things were normal. The contrast provides a good sense of how quickly and radically Nadia’s life changed, and, as a result, how she had to just as rapidly mature well beyond her years. The narrative passages provide readers with a background on the Syrian landscape and culture.

Nadia is a normal teenager (not unlike American ones) and does things that normal teenagers do (check Facebook accounts, watch Arab Idol, and care for her nails). Current events have dragged her country into turmoil and had a profound impact on her as an individual. Readers witness Nadia’s transformation into maturity. Along the way, readers learn about Syrian history and culture and learn to see conflicting groups not as warring factions but as humans. This story is both heart-wrenching and hopeful. While it may not be suited for younger readers, it is an easy read for older readers and has several areas of discussion. It’s best used in a classroom setting where students can explore current events and Syrian culture.

Reviewed By:

Author N. H. Senzai
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publish Date 2018-Jan-02
ISBN 9781481472173
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category Tweens


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