Forced to take shelter when their Syrian city is plagued with bombings, young Nour and her cousin begin to bravely build a secret underground library. Based on the author’s own life experience and inspired by a true story, Nour’s Secret Library is about the power of books to heal, transport and create safe spaces during difficult times. Illustrations by Romanian artist Vali Mintzi superimpose the colorful world the children construct over black-and-white charcoal depictions of the battered city.
Explore The Old City Of Aleppo: Come With Tamim To A World Heritage Site
Visit the Old City of Aleppo is a book for children as well as a book for adults who may choose to read aloud to a child. The narrative follows young Tamim and his father on their explorations of the Old City, pre civil war.
My Name Is Bana
When seven-year-old Bana Alabed took to Twitter to describe the horrors she and her family were experiencing in war-torn Syria, her heartrending messages touched the world and gave a voice to millions of innocent children.
Written in Bana’s own words, this picture book offers a uniquely intimate child’s perspective on one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history. Bana has lost her best friend, her school, her home, and her homeland. But she has not lost her hope—for herself and for other children around the world who are victims and refugees of war and deserve better lives.
Sami loves his life in Damascus, Syria. He hangs out with his best friend playing video games; he’s trying out for the football team; he adores his family and gets annoyed by them in equal measure. But his comfortable life gets sidetracked abruptly after a bombing in a nearby shopping mall. Knowing that the violence will only get worse, Sami’s parents decide they must flee their home for the safety of the UK.
Toma and Malek, two thirteen-year-old Syrian children living in Beirut, struggle to provide for their families in a country that can be hostile against refugees like them, but they maintain hope that there is a way out of their seemingly impossible situation.
The Cat Man Of Aleppo
The courageous and true story of Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, who in the midst of the Syrian Civil War offered safe haven to Aleppo’s abandoned cats. Aleppo’s city center no longer echoes with the rich, exciting sounds of copper-pot pounding and traditional sword sharpening. His neighborhood is empty–except for the many cats left behind. Alaa loves Aleppo, but when war comes his neighbors flee to safety, leaving their many pets behind. Alaa decides to stay–he can make a difference by driving an ambulance, carrying the sick and wounded to safety. One day he hears hungry cats calling out to him on his way home. They are lonely and scared, just like him. He feeds and pets them to let them know they are loved. The next day more cats come, and then even more! There are too many for Alaa to take care of on his own. Alaa has a big heart, but he will need help from others if he wants to keep all of his new friends safe.
The Cat Man of Aleppo is a WOW Recommends: Book of the Month for May 2021.
Other Words for Home
Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative’s home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.
Other Words for Home has been discussed in My Take/Your Take in April 2020 and July 2020.
This book has been included in WOW’s Language and Learning: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Booklist. For our current list, visit our Booklist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.
Yazan no longer goes to the park to play, and he no longer sees his friend who lives next door. Everything around him is changing. His parents sit in front of the television with the news turned up LOUD and Yazan’s little red bike leans forgotten against the wall. Will he ever be able to go outside and play? An uplifting story about a courageous little boy growing up in a time of conflict, and the strength of family love.
Starting in 2011, refugees flood out of war-torn Syria in Exodus-like proportions. The surprising flood of victims overwhelms neighboring countries, and chaos follows. Resentment in host nations heightens as disruption and the cost of aid grows. By 2017, many want to turn their backs on the victims. The refugees are the unwanted. Don Brown depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Shining a light on the stories of the survivors, The Unwanted is a testament to the courage and resilience of the refugees and a call to action for all those who read.
The Unwanted has been discussed in My Take/Your Take for August 2020.
A Land Of Permanent Goodbyes
After their home in Syria is bombed, Tareq, his father, and his younger sister seek refuge, first with extended family in Raqqa, a stronghold for the militant group, Daesh, and then abroad.
Featured in WOW Review Volume X, Issue 4.