Review by Islamic School Librarian
N.H. Senzai’s newest book (published in January 2018), gives a face and a voice to the grave situation in Syria. Like Senzai’s other books, she uses the rich culture and history of a country to inform the reader, and a compelling front story to keep middle school readers entertained. This 336 page book is not in the AR data base yet, but fourth grade and up should be able to follow the story and be able to handle the violence and destruction presented. The story is unique in the genre, in that it doesn’t focus on getting to a safe country, but rather on the heroine’s journey to simply get out of a dangerous one, Syria. Continue reading.
Escape from Aleppo by N. H. Senzai
Published by Simon and Schuster on January 2, 2018
Genres: Teen Years, War
Reading Level: High School
Review Source: Notes from an Islamic School Librarian
Publisher's Synopsis: An Indie Next List Pick
“Filled with kindness and hope, but also with the harsh realities of the horrors of war, this heartbreaking book is a necessary reminder of what many people live through every day.” —Booklist (starred review)
Nadia’s family is forced to flee their home in Aleppo, Syria, when the Arab Spring sparks a civil war in this timely coming-of-age novel from award-winning author N.H. Senzai.
Silver and gold balloons. A birthday cake covered in pink roses. A new dress.
Nadia stands at the center of attention in her parents’ elegant dining room. This is the best day of my life, she thinks. Everyone is about to sing “Happy Birthday,” when her uncle calls from the living room, “Baba, brothers, you need to see this.” Reluctantly, she follows her family into the other room. On TV, a reporter stands near an overturned vegetable cart on a dusty street. Beside it is a mound of smoldering ashes. The reporter explains that a vegetable vendor in the city of Tunis burned himself alive, protesting corrupt government officials who have been harassing his business. Nadia frowns.
It is December 17, 2010: Nadia’s twelfth birthday and the beginning of the Arab Spring. Soon anti-government protests erupt across the Middle East and, one by one, countries are thrown into turmoil. As civil war flares in Syria and bombs fall across Nadia’s home city of Aleppo, her family decides to flee to safety. Inspired by current events, this novel sheds light on the complicated situation in Syria that has led to an international refugee crisis, and tells the story of one girl’s journey to safety.