Sunday, June 6, 2010

Home Is Beyond the Mountains by Celia Barker Lottridge

In 1918, war forced nine-year-old Samira and her family to leave their home in an Assyrian village in northern Iran, fleeing for their lives on foot. Only Samira and her older brother Benyamin survived. They lived in refugee camps and orphanages for five years, and then walked home. Their journey from start to finish covered thousands of kilometres. It is an amazing story and it is based on true events.

Samira is a believable character and I enjoyed the many details of her daily life, the vivid setting and emotional power of the story. The map at the front showing the route the children travelled was a helpful addition.

Give this to readers in Grade 4 - 8 who are interested in the lives of young people in other parts of the world. Similar titles: The Breadwinner trilogy (Deborah Ellis); Libertad (Alma Fullerton); and Iqbal (Francesco D'Adamo).

Celia Barker Lottridge will be reading from this book on June 13th in Edmonton.

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