A. M. Dassu
This debut middle-grade novel chronicles the harrowing journey taken by Sami and his family from privilege to poverty, across countries and continents, from a comfortable life in Damascus, via a smuggler’s den in Turkey, to a prison in Manchester. A story of survival, of family, of bravery … In a world where we are told to see refugees as the ‘other’, this story will remind readers that ‘they’ are also ‘us’.
Carefully researched, wholly convincing, it's a gripping, uncompromising debut, super-charged with the power of empathy. -- Imogen Russell Williams * The Guardian * ... a story that everyone should read, written with empathy, tenderness and hope. -- Patrice Lawrence a beautifully written, richly imagined story, shot through with hope and love and faith in the tenacity of kids - a gorgeous thing -- Katherine Rundell Sami's story is gripping, heart-breaking and realistic, told with devastating clarity and compassion. This perspective is urgently needed, showing the richness of the lives left behind in Syria as the war forces a terrible journey to safety. -- Liz Flanagan I was hooked on Sami's story and my heart was in my throat from the very beginning of the book. A.M. Dassu's writing is gripping and emotive and she manages a perfect balance of tragedy, adversity and hope. -- Swapna Haddow It's amazing. It's like she was amongst us. It's like she's been living here. She knows how people think and react... -- Mohammad Ghabash Thank you for writing this... 'Boy, Everywhere' challenges stereotypes and shows the reality of Syrians before the war. I loved the characters, they were very realistic and so convincing, the friendships so real. Such a good story - a brilliant novel. -- Nadine Kaadan I felt thoroughly harrowed (as indeed I should). Such an important book - and so timely. -- Tanya Landman Sami is such a relatable character, the voice is so perfect, and seeing their journey from his perspective really brings to life anything a child reading might have heard about refugees. I had my heart in my throat for so much of the story, but I also smiled. A brilliantly crafted debut. -- Caroline Fielding Sami's story is heartbreaking and will open people's eyes and hearts to the plight of refugees everywhere. In a world of 'othering' this book does the opposite - it shows clearly that 'they' are also 'us'. -- Catherine Emmett Good books leave you a little bit changed. 'Boy, Everywhere' made me want to change the world. Everyone should read this book. -- Kathryn Evans An adventure for our times. Full of heart, and with an understanding of the humanity of all people, and the complexity of the decision to leave one's beloved home to start all over again somewhere strange and difficult. Funny, moving, exciting, enraging by turns, I read most of it through my fingers as the plot twisted and turned to its uplifting but realistic conclusion. A must-read for everybody. -- Joanna de Guia Such a realistic story. Sami could be my son, daughter or any of their friends. -- Mayida Yord Surprised by the number of realistic details this book has, I was full with emotions reading it. It marks the truth of our sad reality here in Syria, and most importantly shows the message we always wanted to blurt out but couldn't, we aren't happy we came to your land, we were forced to... I really like this book, with all its heartwarming, dramatically realistic events that would definitely move something in you. I hope it gets the attention it deserves, we need it. -- Layla Jazairy
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