Nadia’s family had a plan. If ever their house was bombed they were supposed to meet at the dentist’s office. But Nadia is terrified of leaving her house because she already knows what it feels like to live through a bombing and the shrapnell in her leg is a constant reminder. So when her sister wakes her up one night to leave because the bombing is getting close Nadia hesitates a moment too long and is thrown out the front door by the force of the bomb. Her family leaves her for dead.
But she’s not dead and when she regains consciousness she makes her way to the dentist’s office where she finds a note from her grandmother saying they are on the way to Turkey. So Nadia sets out on the long journey alone. But she doesn’t stay lonely for long. Along the way she meets an old man with many identities and his donkey, Jamila. They travel together to the old man’s friend’s house where they meet two orphaned boys who join them. But hiding from the Syrian Army, the rebel groups, bombers and snipers make their journey to the border very long and perilous.
Last year I made a friend who was Syrian and who, five years before had fled from the war when her kitchen was bombed. This book helped me understand a little better what she went through and what other refugees are still going through today.
Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2018. Buy the book here and support Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup in the process!
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