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In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari
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In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,985 ratings  ·  419 reviews
When ten-year-old Enaiatollah Akbari’s small village in Afghanistan falls prey to Taliban rule in early 2000, his mother shepherds the boy across the border into Pakistan but has to leave him there all alone to fend for himself. Thus begins Enaiat’s remarkable and often punish­ing five-year ordeal, which takes him through Iran, Turkey, and Greece before he seeks political ...more
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Doubleday (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tea Jovanović
Istinita priča avganistanskog dečaka koji je uz mnogo peripetija iz Avganistana izbegao u Italiju i svoje muke ispričao italijanskom novinaru koji je to sročio u knjigu... Potresno, za ljubitelje "Lovca na zmajeve"...
Diane S.
As a ten year old Enaiatollah lived in a small village in Afghanistan with his family. When Afghanistan falls to Taliban rule in 2000, his mother fearing for his future, takes him across the border into Pakistan and leaves him there. This book was narrated to a reporter who works with displaced youth, so the story is told from the viewpoint of a ten year old boy. In this way the writing is simplistic, but powerful and informing all the same. What this young boy, and others like him managed to do ...more
Абсурдно тъжна, абсурдно красива… абсурдно е думата, която не мога да си избия от главата. Абсурдно е да прочета с такава лекота историята на едно малко момче, което е изоставено от майка си, за да има, забележете, по-добър живот някъде там, далеч от дома, който въпреки всичко обича. Историята на едно дете, което ще премине пътя през Афганистан, Пакистан, Иран, Турция, Гърция и Италия, и ще преживее най-абсурдните препятствия, за да се добере до този по-добър живот. Абсурдно е да плачеш, докато ...more
Силата на тази книга е в автентичността й. Разказът на Енаят за мъчното му бягство едва ли би бил по-въздействащ ако беше украсен с художествену измислици. В книгата почти липсват описания- било то на места или душевни състояния. Книга на случването, на страданието, но и пълна с такава силна надежда и оптимизъм, че няма как да не повярваш в щастливия край.
The author's note describes the background for the construction of this book and the gradual reconstruction of Enaiatollah Akbari's migration from Afghanistan to Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece and finally, to Italy. The journey started when he was around 10.

"The book is ... based on a true story. But of course
Enaiatollah didn't remember it all perfectly. Together we
painstakingly reconstructed his journey, looking at maps,
consulting Google, trying to create a chronology for his
fragmented mem
Patrizia O
Si tratta della versione ridotta per bambini dell'omonimo libro di F. Geda. Un libro da leggere assolutamente perchè con la leggerezza di una storia per bambini (grandicelli) ci narra il dramma di chi deve abbandonare il proprio paese, attraversare il mare e giungere sino qui per avere una vita migliore (e quindi immaginatevi cosa lascia). Io ho anche versato qualche lacrimuccia leggendolo, soprattutto quando il protagonista (un bambino di 10 anni) si ritrova da solo senza la madre!
• The book had a conversational style and the narrator is charming and not necessarily dwelling on all that is wrong with the world that set him on this journey but always emphasized the positive and the kindness of others that helped him
• I would say this is more YA than adult and would make for a great HS book discussion
• I could not imagine being on my own at 10 yrs old and crossing borders and figure out how to survive in this world
• The narrator feels that his mother gave him a second chanc
In the Sea There are Crocodiles – Fabio Geda
Translated from Italian by Howard Curtis

‘If you hold a wish up high, any wish, just in front of your forehead, then life will always be worth living.’
I’m not really sure what I expected from this story. Initially, I was seduced by the cover of the book – whether that was the colour, or the gorgeous eyes of the young person – I am not really sure. Then I read that it was the story of a young boy who had journeyed from Afghanistan through Pakistan, Iran,
Някъде към средата си обеащх, че няма да плача на тази книга, че не може аз да рева, когато хората минават през това, което е описано в нея. Ами не издържах, не си спазих обещанието. Тази книга те стиска за гърлото и те кара много внимателно да помислиш за живота си.
И да си благодарен за всичко, което имаш.
(creative nonfiction?, 3.5/5 stars)

Before his mother abandons him in Pakistan after taking him there to avoid the Taliban in Afghanistan, she gives Enaiatollah Akbari three rules:

1. Never use drugs
2. Never use weapons
3. Don't cheat or steal

That doesn't give a ten-year old (more or less) boy much of a start to find his own way in the world. This book, “based on the true story,” is short, simple, and reads like fiction. Don't expect a big high-level view of politics, of the Taliban, of what is ri
An extraordinary story of a ten year old Afghan refugee (Enaiatollah) who, via human traffickers, spends over five years of his life moving from Afghanistan to Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy. Based on a true story.

It is a very personal story of life as a refugee and of life-or-death battles and experiences. Superbly written. Fabio Geda beautifully delivers the human experience of Enaiatollah, whose will for survival is more than remarkable. The story also provides insight into just how
Allie Stoller
I'm so glad this book is over. I feel terrible saying that, but it's true.

Enaiat's story is incredible--there is absolutely no doubt about that. His mother drops him off in Pakistan to start his life as an Afghan immigrant because she fears for her son's life. He then travels to Iran, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. He often travels with traffickers in deplorable conditions. His story of being shuffled across borders in the false-bottom of a truck with numerous other children for three days, with on
Questo libro di Fabio Geda è bello, interessante, coinvolgente e drammatico.

Racconta l’odissea di un ragazzo afgano che la madre decide di salvare dai talebani e dal loro regime autoritario.

Siamo qualche anno prima degli attentati alle torri gemelle e le condizioni di vita imposte dai barbalunga sono oppressive e senza via d’uscita.

Parte allora un viaggio che durerà diversi anni e che vedrà il piccolo Enaiatollah Akbari toccare Pakistan, Iran, Turchia, Grecia prima di giungere in Italia e trovar
Някои истории трябва да бъдат чути. Защото са истински, помагат да погледнем нещата под друг ъгъл и ни карат да градим по-внимателно и пълноценно обществата си.

Не всеки се ражда на благоприятно място за живеене. Съдбата поставя 10-годишния Енаятолах Акбари в особено враждебна среда. Да се родиш хазар (шиит) в Афганистан, в страна, в която властват крайно радикалните талибани, не е особено перспективно. Могат да те застрелят заради по-късата ти брада или просто защото си по-различен от тях. Живо
Tracey O'rourke
Oct 17, 2011 Tracey O'rourke rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens
Shelves: 2011, four-star
This is the novelization of a true story of a boy whose mother smuggled him out of Afghanistan when he was 10 to keep him safe from the Taliban. But then she went back, so it is the story of him, age 10-18, fending for himself, making his way in the world, and making his way from country to country until he eventually settles in Italy. Written in the first person, as if he is telling the reader his life story, it is remarkably matter-of-fact and non-sensationalistic. It is narrated as if this is ...more
Цялото ревю:

Още в първите страници разказвачът е така спокоен и умерен, сякаш да си десетгодишен, толкова дребен, че можеш да се побереш в контурите на цифрата 1, и да търсиш подслон в неизвестна страна, сред хаоса на стотици непознати, е съвсем в реда на нещата. И тъкмо защото главният герой не съди никого, а просто споделя, историята му ме накара да се срамувам от сее си. Защото си спомних, че когато аз бях десетгодишен(с Енаятолах сме на почти еднаква в
Христо Блажев
През девет земи в десета, през живота, озъбен и страшен:
Покрай самоунижителния нихилизъм, който залива младите, разочаровани от политическата залъгалка у нас, пропускаме нещо много, много важно – че дори и тази изкривена, корумпирана реалност е все пак едно от по-добрите места за живот на тази планета. Пропускаме, че сме в оня златен милиард, който все пак може да се нарече свободен при цялата относителност на това понятие. И истории като “Има крокодили в
4 stars! I really enjoyed this it makes you stop and realize just how fortunate we are here in America. Heartbreaking novel of an Afghanistan child abandoned at the age of 10 by his mother in a country torn by war and his struggle of survival into adulthood.
Ron Charles
Errant boys have been running through our nation’s best novels for a long time. Hemingway famously declared that “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn’,” and whether you agree with that or not, boys — and men who still act like them — demand a lot of attention in our canon. But this summer, the kids lighting out for the territory come from Africa and the Middle East, and their journeys will take you somewhere entirely different.

Enaiatollah Akb
Jabiz Raisdana
Another great book about the everyday heroism so many young people deal with in the face of great odds. Books like this are important to remind us that beyond the comfort of our everyday lives, people all over the world persevere beyond what we could ever imagine just to survive and be free. Well-written, this is a captivating story and another important read for students at UWCSEA and beyond. Like Never Fall Down, Boys Without Names and Little Bee, this is a book that you will not believe, but ...more
I wrote this review and then went back and changed my rating from 4 to 5 stars. I really liked this book which is the story told by an Afghan boy whose mother was able to get him out of a dangerous situation in his homeland, only for him to find himself alone in Pakistan which was also dangerous. He is on the run for 5 years before finally finding a safe spot. His story is the all-too-common story of the child refugee. I felt it would be a good book for a young teen to read to develop a sensitiv ...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

3.5 stars actually.

A purportedly true, but billed as fiction, tale of a young man’s harrowing travels out of Afghanistan into various countries. Struggling as an illegal immigrant he eventually obtains political asylum in Italy.

About: Enaiat wakes up one morning to find his mother has abandoned him in Pakistan, after their small family’s flight from their home village in Afghanistan. Their village had been overtaken by the Taliban, who believe that Ena
I don't know how I missed this novel upon its release -- it hasn't received the attention it deserves -- but luckily I have raised a reader who can spot them when I miss them; my 14-year-old recommended this to me. It's the story of an Afghan refugee, surviving racial prejudice, violence, injustice, homelessness and multiple repatriations, all from the age of 10 through 15. The story is told in Enaiat's voice through a sympathetic narrator who (wisely) calls this book a fiction, though it is bas ...more
In 2000, when Enaiatollah Akbari was ten years old, his mother took him from their home in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, over the border into Pakistan, and ultimately left him there. This seeming act of abandonment was in fact a desperate attempt to hopefully save the life of her second child. His mother felt he had become too big to hide from the Taliban who targeted families in their area, mostly for being Hazara.

Enaiat had to learn to fend for himself over the next five years, traveling fro
This impressive account is simply, but compellingly told. I enjoyed reading it, although it does detail many difficult and horrible events.

On greater reflection, I was thinking about the difference of what happens to young boys in danger of the Taliban to what happens to young girls. A girl could not have made it all the way to Italy. It would be more likely for a young girl to have been subject to some sort of gender-based compulsory service, either through marriage at a young age or sold into
ho preso in prestito questo libro dalla biblioteca appena arrivato. il motivo è semplice: avevo assistito alla presentazione del libro un paio di anni fa, al salone del libro di torino, più per caso che per altro, ed ero rimasta molto colpita dal ragazzo da cui nasce la storia, un ragazzo molto giovane ma molto determinato che invece che essere in balia dell'intervistatrice aveva il controllo (cosa piuttosto rara). l'episodio che più mi aveva fatto sorridere e che mi aveva spinta a rimanere ad a ...more
Storie così si sono già lette, e anche viste al cinema: ma c’è sempre posto per altre, non cala mai la mia attenzione su vicende simili.
Come mai allora questa volta mi sono annoiato fino al punto di sbadigliare?
Perché la scrittura di Geda è piatta e priva di qualsiasi fascino, uccide qualsiasi buona intenzione. A tratti sembra quasi che voglia mettersi all’altezza d’occhi del bambino Enaiat (quando a raccontare è però un ventenne), senza considerare che è
Nel mare ci sono i coccodrilli ci racconta la storia di una scheggia dell'umanità migrante, attraverso le traversie del piccolo Enaiatollah Akbari che dall'Afghanistan arriva in Italia con un percorso che è stato in pratica, al contrario, metà di quello di Marco Polo. La scrittura è molto lineare, credo per presentarsi più come una trascrizione che un'elaborazione formale.

La storia è scioccante anche per chi come me in famiglia ha avuto, con il nonno, storie di emigrazione e ritorno abbastanza i
Fabio Geda is an Italian novelist who writes for several Italian magazines and newspapers. He also works with children in difficulties. In The Sea There Are Crocodiles, published in the UK by Harvill Secker is his first book to be translated into English.

This is the fictionalised account of a true story. The recreation of the story of Enaiatollah Akbari, a young Afghan boy who was abandoned by his Mother when they were seeking safety outside Afghanistan. Fabio Geda met Enai whilst in Italy, he h
Fabio Geda is an Italian novelist who works with children in trouble. In The Sea There Are Crocodiles is his book detailing the memoir of Enaiatollah Akbari, an Afhganistian young man who, after years of being on his own and facing obstacles many people never encounter, became an immigrant in Italy.

When Enaiatollah was about ten (he is not sure of his birthday or exact age), his mother took him on a trip to Pakistan. After a few days he awoke one morning to find her gone. She had gone back home,
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Born in Turin in 1972, Fabio Geda is an Italian novelist who works with children in difficulties. He writes for several Italian magazines and newspapers, and teaches creative writing in the most famous Italian school of storytelling (Scuola Holden, in Turin). IN THE SEA THERE ARE CROCODILES is his first book to be translated into English.
More about Fabio Geda...
Per il resto del viaggio ho sparato agli indiani L'estate alla fine del secolo L'esatta sequenza dei gesti Nel mare ci sono i coccodrilli Se la vita che salvi è la tua

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“Ha detto: “Tre cose che non devi fare nella vita, Enait jan, per nessun motivo. La prima è usare le droghe. Ce ne sono che hanno un odore e un sapore buono e i sussurrano alle orecchie che sapranno farti stare meglio di come potrai mai stare senza di loro. Ma tu non devi credergli. Lo prometti?”
“La seconda è usare le armi. Anche se qualcuno ti tratterà male, o ti insulterà, promettimi che la tua mano non si stringerà mai attorno a un coltello, a una pietra e neppure intorno a un mestolo di legno per il qhorma palaw, se qul mestolo di legno serve a ferire un uomo. Lo prometti?”
“La terza è rubare. Ciò che è tuo ti appartiene, ciò che non è tuo no. I soldi che ti servono li guadagnerai lavorando, anche se il lavoro sarà faticoso. E non trufferai mai nessuno. Enait jan, vero? Sarai ospitale e tollerante con tutti. Promettimi che lo farai”
Poi ha alzato lo sguardo in direzione della finestra, e ha cominciato a parlare di sogni senza smettere di solleticarmi il collo. Di sogni come la luna, alla cui luce è possibile mangiare, la sera. E di desideri, che un desiderio bisogna sempre averlo davanti agli occhi, come un asino una carota. Che se un desiderio, qualunque sia, lo si tiene in alto, a una spanna dalla fronte, allora di vivere varrà sempre la pena.
Quando mi sono addormentato, lei stava ancora parlando.
La mattina dopo è partita.”
“Facts are important, the story is important. It's what happens to you that changes your life, not where or who with.” 4 likes
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