Refugee by Alan Gratz

Refugee follows the stories of three children. Josef is a Jewish boy on the St. Louis in 1939 hoping to be admitted to Cuba, Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994 attempting to escape to Miami in a little homemade boat, and Mahmoud is a Syrian boy trying to go from Aleppo to Germany in 2015. The stories are told one chapter at a time changing the story with each chapter change. I found this to be very jarring at first and was not a fan of that set-up at all. I eventually got used to it. Ultimately the stories intertwine even though they happen such a distance apart in time and location. The main characters are fictional, but they are based on composites of actual refugees and what they experienced actually happened to people. In the author’s note, those things are detailed, including which characters were real people and which specific people some of the fictional characters were based on. I highly recommend this book to middle grade readers and up wondering what it is like to be a refugee.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 40
Pages Read in 2019: 10,589
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: LitHub Bingo, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

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