What It Is About - FIVE Things You Need to Know:
1. *Ahmed is a refugee from Syria. He and his father have made it to Brussels, Belgium only to become separated. Ahmed is now alone and mourning the lose of his entire family.
2. Max is an American living in Brussels much to his dislike. He wants to return home, hasn't made friends, and is just plain miserable.
3. Ahmed secretly makes his way through Brussels and ends up taking refuge in the basement of Max's home. Ahmed can tell the family never ventures to the lowest level. He is also a considerate "guest" and makes plans to repay the family for anything he takes or needs.
4. When Max discovers Ahmed in the basement, Ahmed is afraid Max will tell his family and turn him into the authorities. That doesn't happen and the two boys form a friendship that will change each of their lives forever.
5. Max, Ahmed, and several classmates take it upon themselves to ensure Ahmed's safety and create some sort of life that he deserves and is looking for.
What I Thought Of It: The journey of Ahmed and Max was a beautiful one. This is a refugee type story, but one that is different from the stories I have recently read. Each boy had a need to be fulfilled and by finding each other; they were able to do that. The author did a tremendous job of describing a close, special, and tightly bound friendship. There was lots of suspense. There were twists and turns in the "action". There were several warm and tender moments between all of the characters. This story really had it all. Each year I read at least one historical fiction novel with my class and this one just might be the one I pick for the 18/19 school year.
Who Should Read It: This refugee story would be perfect for fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. It could also be used with middle-school readers. Adult readers that read middle-grade novels need to put it on their to be read list. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars