Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard
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Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  953 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Now in a paperback edition, this acclaimed memoir tells the unforgettable story of a young boy's journey from a refugee camp in Sudan to Chicago, where his family survived on welfare. Mawi followed his father's advice to "treat people . . . as though they were angels sent from heaven, " and realized his dream of a full-tuition scholarship to Harvard University. Updated wit...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Joann
Sep 29, 2011 Joann marked it as to-read
My father's review: 3/5/07

By birth Mawi was an Eritrean/Ethiopian, one parent of each, living in Ethiopia. His father, Haileab, was a self trained doctor in Ethiopia,
licensed as an "Advanced Dresser". In the area where they lived, Haileab was the only source of even quasi medical care; so, when it was needed,
he did his best to deliver it, and was pretty good at it. He was the proverbial "country doctor". Traveling long distances to deliver babies,
staying up all night with a patient, and all the...more
Steven Didier
The book Of Beetles and Angels was a pretty good book. I would rank it a 3 out of 5 stars because I enjoyed the personal connection that the author had with the book. It was an interesting story on how Mawi Asgedom the author made it from a refugee camp in Sudan to one of the best universities in the world which is Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One quotation that I saw “ Treat all people - even the most unsightly beetles-as though they were angels sent from heaven” (Asgedom 73)...more
Stanley
This book is and amazing story about a refugee named Mawi. He lived in Ethiopia and had a good life, but when there was a war his family had to move to Sudan in a refugee camp. His father never went to a medical school, but he knew how to do most of the things a doctor knows how to do. He had his own clinic in Ethiopia, but they had to flee to Sudan to survive. His life had changed so much when he moved to Sudan. They lived in that refugee camp for a while, but then they flew over to America.The...more
Andrea
I think everyone should have their teenager read this before they go to high school, or maybe even middle school. I love his message about what you can accomplish in life if you decide to work hard in school and get good grades. And even more, I love what this teaches about what can happen when you choose to treat everyone around you as an angel, rather than a "beetle." I loved the part about getting voted in to student government, simply because he had been nice to everyone and had chosen not t...more
Emily
Awesome book. A bit boring at times, but extremely detailed. I am surprised that Asgedom remembered this much! I read this book for summer reading, but I would recommend it to anyone. It's pretty short, it only takes a few days, and it's an easy read. It will make you laugh and cry. In September Asgedom will speak at my school... I'm so excited! Such a touching and inspiring story.
Ayla
Inspirational story of a young man and his family torn form his homeland because of war and sent to America an alien country where they had to learn and adapt. His fathers wise words to do the best so you can get an education and become someone. His brother sadly cut down in his youth by a drunk driver where hyenas, disease, famine, and war did not, his inspiration to see the "Angels" in those that people only saw as "beetles". To come from a war torn Ethiopia and end up at Harvard with a full s...more
Stan Larson
Preview - I thought the book was going to be about his experience in the U.S. after moving here from Sudan. Because on the back of the book he wrote, “The book guides us through Mawi’s remarkable journey: from civil war in east Africa, through a refugee camp in sudan, to a childhood on welfare in an affluent American suburb, and eventually, to a full-tuition scholarship at Harvard University,” (Asgedom).


Predict - “No one taught us that lesson, (faith was not enough) quite like our classmates at...more
Madisen
I think of this book as GREAT, but NOT amazing! It was very good, but at times i felt like it was really boring! It is an inspiratiional book with many quotes that described someone's "not so" daily life. Mawi (the main character) is just a little boy going through great troubles, although he lives his life being "wise" and following the rules with a few mess-ups here and there, but that is normal for a kid! he is a very good person though. i wish i could live my life following the rules he goes...more
Kaitlyn
Lets just say I did not choose to read this book. I have to read this book for school and take a test on it the first day of school. This book was sooo boring. It put me to sleep a couple of times. I just could never get into it. I did not think that that book was inspirational like others have said in their reviews. This book made it sound like he wanted us to feel sorry for them... and to be honest..... I don't..... he did nothing in his story..... I did not enjoy it at all. I would never read...more
Yicong
The book is about a family fled from Ethiopian to Sudan, then finally to America. The main character, or the protagonist, is a black boy called Mawi. His father is a fantastic, warm-hearted doctor. The doctor treated every patient with fair and care. He saved uncountable patients. All of the people in the town gave good, positive comments of him.

The 30-year-long civil war between Ethiopia and Eritrea forced them to flee. However, Sudan refugee camp was not a good place for long stay. Mawi and h...more
Amanda T
Of Beetles and Angels was one of my recent books I have read. The book is by Mawi Asgedom. This book is summarizing the life of Mawi Asgedom because it is a memoir. In this book it shows that hardships of coming to a whole new life in America and how he was successful in creating one. This is definitely a to read.

The point of the book is to tell that you can accomplish anything your heart desires. Even if you don't know anything about it you can still do it. Just like Mawi, he was a refugee and...more
Tiffany Parra
Feb 23, 2012 Tiffany Parra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: To lots of people who i know would enjoy a good book
Shelves: done-reading
This book to me was quite fascinating. The way the theme and dialog was set up was great. But to me reading how Mawi described everything he went through in his life just actually put me there with him. His textual features was great and just reading throughout the book I felt mixed emotions. I felt sad for how Mawi and his family had to leave their home war stricken country, and how coming to america they were poor with no money and had to have foster families take care of them for money and fo...more
Ad-RyaN Williams
This book has many different ways of making you think about a lot of different stuff.It has many aspects. It has so many great quotes that could mean so many different things. It's a book about a boy, real name Selamawi but in America we call him Mawi. As a kid he has went through a lot, such as the transfer from a refugee camp to America, fighting at school and almost is expelled, kids picking on him at school, and the latest, the death of both his brother,Telwolde, and his father, Haileab. Alt...more
Daniela Osorio
Of Beetles and Angels is a great book.It talks about how a poor kid from Refugee camp,ends up in the best universities in the country.Thanks to all the hard work he and his family have passed.His father (Haileab born in seraye,Eritrea in 1934) always made him keep his head up even when times got hard.Mawi (main character) has a brother named Tewolde,and a sister named Mehret.His mother was Tsege she was loving and hard working.She would stay home and clean the house and do what was best for the...more
Maddy
Of Beetles And Angles
A remarkable journey of a young boy
Mawi Asgedom writes a very moving autobiography telling the story of his family journey from the middle of a civil war in east Africa, to a refugee camp in Sudan, then finally making it to the states on welfare. Mawi grows up in a small town in Illinois named Wheaton, growing up there was a hard task for the family, only Mawi’s father was able to speak a little English, as for Mawi, he didn’t know any. Mawi still went to school. Though his...more
Learning Community Learning Community
Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard, teliling the story of how a young boy named Mawi and his family lived in Ethiopia but was forced to leave because of war. Him and his family continued to flee from refugee camp to refugee camp to find safety for their family.
Thhough the family went through tough times, Mawi, his brother Telwode,younger sister Mehret, mother Tsege, and father Haileab continued to stay strong and belive that life would get better. A...more
Angie
I personally didn't like the book of beetles & angels because it's a very sad story. From how his mother had to take him through a long & tiring trip through the desert. To How the family had to live in a refugee for 3 years. And after being able to leave for America & he gets accepted to Harvard something that changes his life completely. It was interesting to read about someone's long struggle to become someone & be able to go to Harvard. But it just wasn't the types of books I...more
Adrienne Lumpkin
Of Beetles and Angels –Review
By: Adrienne Lumpkin
As of me being a sixth grader and having to read books about South- West Asia, this book has been the best so far. After getting into the book I felt like I was reading it or entertainment and not an assignment. This book is about a boy to a man named Salamawi’s in this book mostly referred to as Mawi’s journey from a refugee to a Harvard student. This book tells you from his own words how his life is. It has the original moral of “No matter whe...more
Hana Chaney
Selamawi Asgedom was born in modern day Ethiopia. His mother, Tsege, and his father, Haileab, and his brother Tewolde, were all forced into a refugee camp in Sudan to escape a civil war between his two cultures: Ethiopia and Eritria. He lived in that camp for over three years, later escaping to Wheatonton, a city in America. Like modt refugees, he did not speak english, did not know Ametican culture, and was confused of where he even was. America seems a lot harder than in a refugee camp.......

O...more
Alan Medina
Of Beetles & Angels Review
This book really shows you the meaning of hard work. It is a story of a refugee boy and his amazing adventure from a refugee camp to graduating from Harvard. Nobody that I know would think of a poor refugee from Africa to have all A’s in school and graduate from one of the most expensive college’s and highly educated college’s. Don’t let other people bring you down just because you are poor and you can’t afford some of the most modern things. If you work hard like...more
Cade Ivy
Of Beetles and Angels: Book Review Cade Ivy
This book is a good way to remember how people may be struggling every day in the world that we live in. Many dangers are dicussed although there are a lot of detailed occasions that are describing how America is different and how the world of a refugee works. These kids seem troubled and disturbing but they are just trying to find a place in society. These refugees do not like to be called bettles but accept the humiliation as they move up from branch...more
Anabellehuisa
Of Beetles & Angels was an incredibly remarking book telling about the life story of a young Sudanese refugee going from a refugee to a struggling boy living in America to a full-tuition scholarship Harvard graduate! It also goes deeper into the way he felt about leaving his home in Sudan and growing up as a teased and taunted child. Mawi Asegdom also explains the actions he took to provide not only for himself but for his family. He also made sure to be top of the class because he thought...more
Samuel Ivystihl
I really enjoyed this book. Mawi the main character has a really remarkable life. He seems to have set up for himself rules and guidelines on how to live his life. I do think that this title is appropriate for the book because there are lots of examples that he points out and I think he did a great job. I noticed that from day one he had to make hard choices so that he could survive. I first think that being a refugee was hard enough much less the bullying like in playground warfare. I do believ...more
Ondina Funez
This book is about a young boy named Mawi who was forced to move to America along with his family, and not knowing anything about it. They come to America not knowing what to expect, having an image in their heads that is nowhere near to what America is really about. Once they are settled in ,him and his brother go through bad and good times in school. Their parents always pushed them to their best. Overtime, they get a lot better in their grades and become better people. Their hearts open up a...more
Talara Harper

Of Beetles and Angels Review
This was a great book. It is one of my favorite books that I have read as a class.At first, I thought I was not going to like it because I saw a lot of words I could not pronounce. I looked over those words and I changed my mind about the book .I also thought it was going to be a sad book when Mawi was telling his life stories.The book actually had a happy ending and success occuring. There were lots of changes in the book.The changes were from one place to another,...more
Peyton
Of Beetles and Angels was very moving and inspiring. It showed me that if you work hard anything is possible. It is a memoir by Selamawi (Mawi) Asgedom. He faced many challenges in his life. He tells about his home in Adi Wahla, Ethiopia. He tells about the refugees they met on their trip to America, and how they had many troubles on their trip. Many people told his family that America was a great place, others said America would be a horrible place to go. Despite all these things Mawi’s family...more
Neha
Of Beetles and Angels was a very moving book. It is a memoir written by Selamawi Asgedom, commonly know as Mawi. He tells about his journey through life, his accomplishments, and his tragedies. The story starts with a flashback of his life, telling about what he remembers of his home in Adi Wahla, Ethiopia. He tells about his travels through different refugee camps, and the hardships in the travels. He soon comes to a so-called paradise, also know as America. Though his first view of America was...more
Anapaula
Of Beetles and Angels is a remarkable biography about a young boy named Mawi that had to come to leave his country to go to the United States because of war. The book for starts with Mawi in the refugee camp. He and his family had to leave all their belongs to go to a refugee camp. Along the way they find their father. Soon after they are reunited, Mawi's family take a test to see if they are allowed to come to the United States. After the test, they find out they are allowed to come. They must...more
Sophie Hauth
"Of Beetles and Angels" is an autobiography about Selemawi and his family. "Mawi" and his family grew up in a small African town, until Mawi was about 8 years old, and they moved to America for a better life. In the first part of the story, Mawi tells of fighting bullies, going on adventures with his brother Tewolde, and overall getting used to life in a place completely different than what they were used to. Mawi also goiles in depth about his father, Haibleab. Haibleab, was a successful doctor...more
Hayatullah Khan
Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom is really interesting story about how a young boy overcame with his difficult life, and Achieved his dream of getting education. The character Mawi goes through really difficult situation, such as he being forced out of his home to a refugee camp, also his beloved brother and father died, while he was really young. He did not give up on his dream of getting education which he thought was the solution to all his problem. He continue his education and graduate...more
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I recommend this book! 1 2 Dec 05, 2013 05:19PM  
Of Beetles and Angeles 1 3 Dec 02, 2013 06:52AM  
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“Treat all people-even the most unsightly beetles-as though they were angels sent from heaven.” 4 likes
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