Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Refugee by Alan Gratz

How I Heard About It:  While at ALA in Chicago I stopped by the Scholastic booth.  They had a table of some ARC's.  During my chat with one of the reps, she suggested this title.  I added to my backpack and brought it home.  I didn't give it much thought at this point.  Then I started to notice so many Twitter comments about the book.  Many readers were RAVING about the story.  I went to my box of books that I got at the convention and found this title.  Once I started I could not stop!  

What It Is About:  There are three stories in the book.  The first one is about Josef who is a Jewish boy living in Germany in 1930.  With the threat of his family being sent to a concentration camp, they pack up and head toward Cuba.  The second story takes the reader to Cuba in 1994 where Isabel and her family are about to escape for America and get out from Fidel Castro's control.  The final plot tells the story of Mahmoud, who is a Syrian boy in 2015, during the bombing and unrest in this country.  All three of these children, along with their families, must escape their homeland and find safety in the "arms" of other countries.  While traveling, each family faces danger and difficult situations that could prohibit them from their final destination.  

What I Thought Of It:  A complete WOW and incredible book.  I know many readers had praised the story, but I had no idea.  Once I started, I could NOT put it down.  I enjoyed how there were three different stories and was curious as to how they would all tie together.  Each character brought such heart and determination in their quest for freedom.  I'm not normally one for historical fiction stories, but this one grabbed me and didn't let go until the end.  Actually, I still find myself thinking about the three refugees and their journeys.  There are so many elements to this story that give the reader so much to think about and consider about our ever-changing world.  

Who Should Read It:  I already know that I will be sharing this story with my fourth grade class during our historical fiction unit.  It will be our read aloud.  My thought is that this story would make for a terrific read aloud because each and every chapter ends on a cliffhanger.  It will for sure leave the listeners wanting for more.  I actually think all students, young-adults, and adults should experience the magic of this story.  It is just incredible.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

No comments:

Post a Comment