Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari” as Want to Read:
In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  3,531 Ratings  ·  586 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 a ...more
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Doubleday (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In the Sea There are Crocodiles, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Margi I think it could be used in 8th grade and up. I found it fairly easy to read. It went quickly. There is no content that wouldn't be appropriate for…moreI think it could be used in 8th grade and up. I found it fairly easy to read. It went quickly. There is no content that wouldn't be appropriate for high school.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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 ☔
Jul 18, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
Shelves: roadrallyteamb
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
Jun 29, 2012 orsodimondo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italiana
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
May 31, 2013 Toni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 11, 2013 Sve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 12, 2016 Tonkica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Svaki put u sličnim pričama budem sretna gdje sam rođena! Svaki put se posjetim biti za to jako zahvalna. Nimalo lak put jednog ostavljenog dečkića.. Izostalo mi je emocija u cijeloj priči, nisam se povezala s njime, ali priča je i dalje dobra.
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
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
May 09, 2013 Milena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
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.
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!
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,
(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
Nov 20, 2011 Beverly rated it liked it
• 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
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
May 23, 2016 Booknblues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari, is a short but fascinating story of a ten year old Afghanistan boy's journey from Pakistan to Italy. He was brought to Pakistan by his mother because she feared for his life in Afghanistan. She was unable to stay there with him as she had younger children still in Afghanistan which relied on her, so she gave Akbari the advice which she hoped would lead to his survival.

Akbari was indeed a very resilient child who surv
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
Sep 28, 2011 Dhe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 09, 2011 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
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
May 30, 2013 Lammoth rated it it was amazing
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
Armin Hennig
Eine so weit rührende Geschichte, die Hintergründe und Ursachen einer Fluch aus Afghanistan während der Herrschaft der Taliban aufzeigt. Keine Bildungschancen für Einaiatollah, nachdem die schiitische Minderheit, der seine Familie angehört systematisch unterdrückt wird und der Vater ums Leben kommt. Die Mutter setzt den zehnjährigen Jungen in Pakistan aus, nachdem sie ihm drei Versprechen abgenommen hat: Keine Drogen, keine Waffen und nicht stehlen.
Die Einhaltung des dritten hindert ihn daran al
Oct 16, 2011 Tracey rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2013 Жор rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 08, 2013 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Често попадам на сравнения между книгите на Халед Хюсейни и тази и на мерене коя е по-по-най. Книгите на Хюсейни са затрогващо красива болка, но са художествена измислица. Фабио Джеда е споделил истинската история на едно момче, тоест неукрасена литературно автобиография. Няма начин как да бъде шедьовър на нечие перо и класика. Което обаче изобщо не намалява въздействието от съпреживяването й. Не е атрактивна, защото няма екшън от развлекателен тип (напомпани мъжаги с големи пищаци), няма секс, ...more
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
I was moved by Enaiatollah Akbari's story, I'm glad that Fabio Geda has recorded it for the sake of history but I wish that Geda had expanded on the details a little more or that I had read this with a companion book on Afghanistan so that I would have had a greater understanding of what daily life was like for Akbari there.

I thought this was a moving story but lacked the details that would have made it a richer reading experience for me. I think it would be an excellent book for the right teac
Jan 22, 2013 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the age of ten, Enaiatollah Akbari and his mother travelled from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The morning after his mother makes him swear to keep 3 promises about how to live and behave, Enaiatollah wakes up to discover that his mother has left him alone to fend for himself. The book then continues to recount the unforgettable story of his journey to Italy in an attempt to find a safe place to live as an asylum-seeker.
Simply told, utterly compelling and riveting, the book offers much food for th
Noshin Saiyaara
Aug 23, 2015 Noshin Saiyaara rated it really liked it
Though I'm not a big fan of personal narratives, I found this book incredibly inspiring, full of comical humour and realism. I would recommend this book to people looking for something rather short and sweet, but I think everyone needs to pick this one up and give it a try.
Jun 16, 2014 Vaasanthi rated it really liked it
I think this book is amazing as It has so many things that can be really deep and this guy's life was like this. It is amazing to see how our life is. I think this book was a really deep book but was written in a way that we teens can understand it. I hope to read more books like this in the future
Sep 05, 2011 Laurie rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
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.
Aug 23, 2015 Ali rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, It was a great read and I was so engrossed in it that I thought I was the main charter my self. I highly recommend it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Se ti abbraccio non aver paura: Il viaggio di Franco e Andrea
  • Per questo mi chiamo Giovanni
  • Varamo
  • Riding the Black Cockatoo
  • The Polish Boxer
  • The Madonna on the Moon
  • Acciaio
  • Hollow Heart
  • The Book of Jonas
  • The Book of Everything
  • Home is a Roof Over a Pig: An American Family's Journey in China
  • Out of Shadows
  • L'abbraccio
  • Hanno tutti ragione
  • The Canvas
  • Non avevo capito niente
  • The Carpet Wars: From Kabul to Baghdad: A Ten-Year Journey Along Ancient Trade Routes
  • The Planets
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...

Share This Book

“Facts are important, the story is important. It's what happens to you that changes your life, not where or who with.” 5 likes
“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.”
More quotes…