Sunday, June 30, 2019

YA Review: Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

Title: Nowhere Boy
Author: Katherine Marsh
Year Published: 2018

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 353
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)Belgium, Germay, Austria, and Hungary

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stranded in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Now he's struggling to get by on his own, and with no one left and where to go, his hope is fading.

Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is having trouble at his new school and just cant' seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed's lives collide and a friendship begins to grow. Together, Ahmed and Max will defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave and how hope can change your destiny.

Review: Wow. This is such a good book! 

Before I tell you why I enjoyed it so much, if you read the book you must read the conversation with the author at the end. It tells where the inspiration for the story came from and how much of it is real. Amazing.

This novel would be good for middle grade or high school students (and, obviously, adults) as it combines Europe's history in the Holocaust, the Syrian civil war, and Europe's current issues with refugees. The Holocaust portion is small and really is just for reference, but it is an important connection to the present day in Belgium. And, actually, this book is about humanity, how we do and should feel about one another, and how we can help.

Marsh does a wonderful job at showing people's fears, their bravery, their ignorance, and their love. What more could we want from a book?!

Challenges for which this counts: 
 

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