Find out more about Canada Reads @ the Library and register here for this fun-filled night of lively debate on March 25 at 7PM (via Zoom).
About the Book
From the widely acclaimed author of American War: a new novel–beautifully written, unrelentingly dramatic, and profoundly moving–that brings the global refugee crisis down to the level of a child’s eyes.
More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another over-filled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives in their homelands. And only one has made the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who has the good fortune to fall into the hands not of the officials but of Vanna: a teenage girl, native to the island, who lives inside her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though she and the boy are complete strangers, though they don’t speak a common language, she determines to do whatever it takes to save him.
In alternating chapters, we learn the story of the boy’s life and how he came to be on the boat; and we follow the girl and boy as they make their way toward a vision of safety. But as the novel unfurls, we begin to understand that this is not merely the story of two children finding their way through a hostile world, it is the story of our collective moment in this time: of empathy and indifference, of hope and despair — and of the way each of those things can blind us to reality, or guide us to a better one. (From McClelland & Stewart) — from cbc.ca
About the Author
A CBC Books interview with Omar El Akkad
A Powells interview with Omar El Akkad
A CBC Radio The Next Chapter interview
Video interviews with Omar El Akkad
A Quill & Quire book review
A Guardian book review
A New York Times book review
A Washington Post book review
An NPR book review
Refugees of the Syrian civil war (Wikipedia)
Timeline of the European migrant crisis (Wikipedia)
The Alan Kurdi story (Wikipedia)
A Vancouver Sun article: Alan Kurdi: the life and death of the boy on the beach