Bound To Stay Bound

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 Boy, everywhere
 Author: Dassu, A. M.

 Publisher:  Tu Books, (2021)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 397 p., ill., map, 19 cm

 BTSB No: 259059 ISBN: 9781643791968
 Ages: 9-14 Grades: 4-9

 Refugees -- Fiction
 Syrians -- England -- Fiction
 Syria -- History -- 2011-, Civil War -- Fiction
Family Life
Adventure Fiction

Price: $25.36

Sami loves his life in Damascus, Syria, but when war breaks out his parents decide they must flee their home for the safety of the UK.

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   Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/01/21)
   School Library Journal (02/12/21)
   Booklist (+) (03/15/21)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 02/12/2021 Gr 5 Up—"I didn't realize how good life was until it all went wrong" Eighth grader Sami al-Hafez leads a privileged life in Damascus, Syria. His biggest concern used to be whether he and his best friend would make the soccer team. But when his mother and younger sister are injured in a bombing of a local shopping mall, Sami and his family realize that the Syrian civil war is now at their doorstep and they must leave their home. The author not only chronicles Sami's perilous journey from Syria, through Turkey and Greece, and eventually to England, but the difficulty of leaving loved ones behind and starting anew in a country where the laws and people aren't so welcoming. Short chapters help keep the pace of this first-person narrative moving, even when we see Sami waiting for circumstances to change—a situation that is reinforced throughout the story as common to being a refugee. For readers who enjoyed Katherine Marsh's Nowhere Boy or Jasmine Warga's Other Words for Home, this book also offers a fresh perspective and a relatable main character. The text could be paired with Don Brown's graphic nonfiction title The Unwanted for academic purposes. VERDICT Dassu provides a fresh perspective on the Syrian refugee experience, giving readers a glimpse at a range of ordeals. Recommended for purchase.—Monisha Blair, formerly at Rutgers Univ., NJ - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 03/15/2021 *Starred Review* Sami is an ordinary eighth-grader who loves playing football and PlayStation with his best friend. That will likely sound familiar to many readers of this novel, but there's a difference: Sami lives in Damascus, Syria, as it's plunging into civil war. Smoke billowing in the distance is embedded into everyday life, but it isn't until Sami's mom and young sister are almost killed that the danger hits home. With the war inching closer to their city, the al-Hafez family flee their comfortable life in Damascus to seek refuge in the UK—that is, if the journey doesn't break them first. This raw, heartbreaking middle-grade debut faces the Syrian refugee crisis head-on. Many will recall the horrifying images from the Syrian refugee crisis, from the dusty rubble of once-bustling cities to the drowned victims who washed up on the Turkish coast. Dassu knits those realities into the story of the al-Hafez family, giving voice to countless refugees who didn't want to leave their homeland but were left no choice.The pace is fast; the family goes from being well-off one moment to having no status the next. Seeking asylum, held in a detention center, experiencing homelessness—the blows are unabating, but they're nevertheless interspersed with small joys. This isn't an easy read, but it's an absolutely essential one. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

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