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The Color of Home
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The Color of Home

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  153 ratings  ·  73 reviews
This remarkably moving picture book follows first-grader Hassan through his first few days at school. Hassan has only recently arrived in the United States after he and his family were forced to flee Somalia, and he deeply misses the colorful landscape of his former home in Africa. But with the help of his parents, an understanding teacher, and a school art project, Hassan ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 30th 2002 by Dial (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 291)
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Ashley Hills
"The Colour of Home" is an inspiring story of a young boy named Hassan, trying to adjust to life in a new country. Hassan and his family had to flee Somalia due to terror and war. The narrative follows Hassan's journey as he struggles to find comfort in his new surroundings. What I enjoyed most, was the authenticity of the story. Although I am slightly puzzled on what age group would be appropriate for this story, due to the vivid details of war, it tells a true account of a real life refuge sit ...more
This a story of a little boy who moves to the UK from Somalia, therefore depicts the boys immediate struggle with his change of surroundings. Firstly the language barrier is a difficulty, until he gains a translator which makes him feel more comfortable. The biggest change for the young boy is the lack of colour in his new British home compared to his in Somalia, therefore in encouraged to draw and paint pictures of his old home in order to make him feel more welcome and comfortable in his new c ...more
Charlotte Gray
The Colour of Home is a book primarily looking at the issue of refugee children. The story is about a little boy whose family have been given asylum in the UK and it is his first time at school. It portrays some of the issues that arise, both simple misunderstandings and also more complex issues, which need to be addresses by a specialist. The young boy has seen and heard some terrible things in his home country and therefore needs special care and attention. The book ends with the boy, although ...more
The Colour of Home is a beautifully illustrated and moving story of a young boy named Hassan in his first few days at a new school in the United States after fleeing war torn Somalia with his family. He misses the vibrant colours of his previous home in Africa deeply and finds his new home to be very 'grey' in comparison. During a school art lesson he paints a picture of his old home which shows the trauma he has been through, when the teacher sees this she arranges for a translator to visit the ...more
Nadira Choudhury
Hassan has fled Somalia with his mother, father and sister Naima. He feels isolated in his new ‘grey’ world, cannot speak a word of English and misses his cat Musa. However it is through the support and understanding of his teacher Miss Kelly that Hassan feels he is able to express the trauma that he experienced in Somalia. Hassan’s last moments in his home country are revealed in a painting.
We learn that the beautiful colours of home, with the ‘yellow sun and mimosa trees’ were destroyed when
Alice Nachir
The Colour Of Home is a very touching story about a Somalian boy called Hassan who moves to the UK with his family as a refugee seeking asylum. Hassan knows no English when he arrives and has had many heart-breaking experiences throughout his life in Somalia. When he begins school he has nobody who understands him and finds it extremely difficult to blend in with his peers. Things take a turn for the better when the class teacher asks children to draw a picture. Hassan expresses himself in his d ...more
Having moved from his homeland in Somalia, Hassan begins school in ‘gray’ England, feeling lost, sad and not understanding a word of English around him. Hassan doesn’t like his new school or his new home. Drawing a picture of what actually happened in Somalia, the reason Hassan and his family emigrated to England, a sad and worrying story is unravelled. With the help of a translator, the class teacher and the children in his class, Hassan begins to settle in and feels a little more at ease, he s ...more
Hassan has come to the U.S. from Somalia. He doesn't speak much English yet but he paints a devastating picture of his life at home, including the death of his uncle. His astute teacher realizes he needs help in expressing his grief and fear so she brings in a translator who helps him work through his emotions. He ends by painting an optimistic picture of the future. Vivid watercolor paintings portray not only Hassan in his classroom and at home, but also the paintings he creates himself. The Le ...more
This story is of a young refugee boy from Somalia who manages to escape violence from the soldiers in his home country. The picture that he paints and later describes to a translator tells graphically of how his uncle was shot while he hides in his cousins' room. The story is very descriptive and makes one understand how someone like the boy feels in a totally foreign country and could describe it as devoid of color with its gray tones. I may use this with children when discussing immigrants or ...more
Frank A
This is a perfect book for highlighting the issue of a refugee child. You can see why it won the 2003 National Literacy Association Wow award. It deals with common issues of EAL children arriving in a new country and not understanding cultural, language etc. The book makes us appreciate how hard it is for a child to make sense of their new surroundings. This book was very moving and leaves you feeling that your life is rather straightforward compared to the issues Hassan had to deal with.
Shajeda Begum
This moving picture book follows a boy called Hassan through his first few days at school. Hassan is a refugee who has arrived to the country quite recently. He and his family were forced to flee from Somalia because of the war; he misses the colourful landscape in his former home and this is one of the reasons why he is having a difficult time trying to adjust his lifestyle. However with the help of the teacher and the school's art project Hassan finds that art helped him share his story and fe ...more
Emelie Pierce
This book is extremely thoughtful and emotional. I loved how the main character, Hassan, used art to express his feelings and sorrow. This is a great and easy way to let kids show their emotions. Hassan's story was heartbreaking, and at times seemed like it may be too much for a young child to understand. The end of the story wrapped everything up nicely, and I liked how the author showed that Hassan was beginning to feel better about his new home.

As a teacher, I think this book would be good fo
Monica Lopez
This is a touching story about a Somalian boy named Hassan who recently arrived to America with his family to escape terrorism. At first, Hassan is not impressed with America with its dark and drab colors compared to Somalia. He misses home and school is difficult because he doesn't understand English. he uses art as a way to express himself and paint his story to share with the teacher. He paints a beautiful, colorful picture that also has tragedy in it, his uncle was murdered in Somalia. This ...more
Ann Cox
Hassan is a young boy from Somalia who is nervous on his first day of school in America. He has trouble understanding the language and getting used to the school activities, which are very different from his native land. During school he paints his first picture of his homeland, which acts as a communicative tool between Hassan, his teacher, and his family. This book has soft, beautiful illustrations and explains what life is like and conflict in Somalia in a way that young children will underst ...more
Rebecca Ferguson
Text to Text- This book can compare to the book Wonder. Both have characters coming to a new school. In Wonder Augie stands out because of his looks. In the Color of Home Hassan is uncomfortable because he is coming from a different country and is confused.
Text to Self- Hassan creates a painting during school and he paints a picture of his family and then describes his painting to his teacher. I remember being in school and drawing pictures of my whole family then sharing characteristics about t
Rory Scott Douglas
Hoffman's bitter-sweet window into the formative years of a young boy named Hassan depicts an all too familiar story for the people of east London. She paints a picture of a picture painted, echoing a harsh reality that some young children have been unfortunate enough to experience. Hassan arrives at his new school with next to no English, afraid and tentative to explore his new environment. With the help of his teacher, a translator, a new friend and a supportive family he is able to begin to s ...more
A beautifully illustrated picture book by Karin Littlewood. This is a story about a young Muslim boy named Hassan who has newly arrived in America. He is having trouble adjusting to his new life and speaks only a few words of English. After his teacher get to know him, she find a way for Hassan to tell his story. I would read this book in the classroom and use this as a way to talk abut Ells and share about the changes that many experience when they relocate to new countries. I would recommend t ...more
(NS) Brea M
PreS-Gr. 3. The author of the popular picture book Amazing Grace (1991) tells another moving story here of an immigrant kid in the classroom. Hassan's Muslim family was driven from their home in Somalia by the violent civil war. On his first day of school in America, everything looks gray and strange and he can't speak English. Then in art class he paints a picture of the happy home he remembers before the soldiers came to his village. When he paints a second picture of the nightmares that haunt ...more
Tine Martinsen
”The Color of home” is a very touching story about a Somalian boy who moves with his family to America. This boy doesn’t know a word of English, and has experienced a lot of bad things in his childhood. When he starts at school he has nobody, and when the teacher makes them draw a picture, he draws down all his feelings, and the teacher could see his pain. He wanted to draw a new one the next day, one he could bring home to his family. The next day his teacher brings in a translator that helps h ...more
Published: 2002, Dial
Age: 4-8
Hassan is a little boy who has just emigrated from Somalia. He and his family had to leave because of the civil war there. It is his first day of school and everything is cold and gray and different from his homeland. He is very homesick. The students are nice to him but he doesn’t speak the language except for a couple of words. When his teacher gives him paints, he creates a nice picture of his home but then ruins it by splattering red paint and flames over it and
This book is about a boy named Hassan who has recently left his home country, Somalia to live in England. The story is told from Hassan’s perspective of how he is feeling about living in a new country and going to a new school. He explains that he is finding it difficult to understand the other children and his class teacher when they speak to him, he also explains that he is finding it hard to view England as his home because he was use to the way he lived in Somalia. In the afternoon Hassan’s ...more
Kara Roberts
This remarkably moving picture book follows first-grader Hassan through his first few days at school. Hassan has only recently arrived in the United States after he and his family were forced to flee Somalia, and he deeply misses the colorful landscape of his former home in Africa. But with the help of his parents, an understanding teacher, and a school art project, Hassan finds that by painting a picture of his old home and sharing his story, his homesickness and the trauma of leaving a war-tor ...more
Belinda Holdernesse
Painted in bright colors and strong images, The Colour of Home, follows the story of Hassan and his first days starting a new school in England. Struggling to understand his classmates and communicate with the teacher, Hassan thinks he has left all the colours behind in Somalia, a metaphor for everything he left. Hassan then expresses his words in art class when he paints the reality of the home he escaped and shares his experiences with his teacher. Soon he learns that he hasn’t left anything b ...more
The colour of home is based on a young boy travelling from Somalia to UK and attempting to fit in to his new surroundings. When asked to draw a painting in classroom lesson, Hassan initially draws a colourful image of his family’s house, members and animals. However, he soon remembers the horrific incident that happened in his village which drove them out of Somalia. Hassan begins to draw a black figure with a gun, blood splats all over the walls of the house and he smudges his uncle into a blur ...more
L-Crystal Wlodek
This picture book, intended for ages 4-8, is a beautifully illustrated book about a young child adjusting to life in America after being forced out of his home in Somalia by a violent war. The little boy, feels very alone and unable to communicate since he does not know anybody or the language. However, with the help of his parents, his teacher, and an interpreter, he uses painting as a way to communicate and help in adjusting to his new home in America.

Children, especially immigrants, who are
Winnie Kuster
This remarkably moving picture book follows a boy, Hassan, through his first few days at school. Hassan has only recently arrived in the United States after he and his family were forced to flee Somalia, and he deeply misses the colourful landscape of his former home in Africa. But with the help of his parents, an understanding teacher, and a school art project, Hassan finds that by painting a picture of his old home and sharing his story, his homesickness and the trauma of leaving a war-torn co ...more
Victoria Becker
Dec 06, 2014 Victoria Becker marked it as to-read
Shelves: child-rights
The Color of Home is a lexile level 540 which translates to a level N. The target reading level in 5th grade is T, U and V at the end of 5th grade. Because this book is so far below grade level it would be great for a read aloud or for special education students who are far below reading level. This book is about a first grader who recently immigrates to the United States from a war stricken country. Although he escaped war he misses his home. This book takes you through what he is experiencing. ...more
The Color of Home is a fictional story about Hassan, a Somalian immigrant, who feels overwhelmed with the difficulties of adapting to life in a new home after being forced out of his home by a violent war. Being along and unable to communicate, Hassan is homesick and he misses the colorful landscape of his former home in Somalia.

With this text, I can teach my students about descriptive language (ex. “The blue sky changed to a murky purple”, “blue, yellow, and white looked bright against the gray
This book reinforces the healing power of telling one's own story, especially for immigrants who are fleeing trauma in their homeland. Hassan feels overwhelmed by a new home (with a new climate), a new school and a new language. He was able to express some of who he is and how he feels through painting, showing his home and what happened, and finally telling his story to his teacher with the help of a Somali translator. It was only then that he began to open up, play with a new classmate and pai ...more
The story of a Somalian immigrant boy who can only communicate with his classmates by painting a picture of his house in Somalia, his family, men with guns, bullets, and blood. I liked how this was handled in an age-appropriate way. I also like how it wasn't left at anything so simple as Hassan being okay since his family moved to the United States, but he does learn to cope in a way that shows admirable (though realistic) maturation in a few days.
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Mary Hoffman is a bestselling British author and reviewer, born in 1945. She is a true enthusiast of Italy and spends a lot of her time there, which shows in her Stravaganza novels: a series currently in publication. In total, she has written over 80 books, including the aforementioned Stravaganza series and the bestselling picture book, Amazing Grace. Mary is also the editor of a review magazine ...more
More about Mary Hoffman...
City of Masks (Stravaganza, #1) Amazing Grace City of Stars (Stravaganza, #2) City of Flowers (Stravaganza, #3) City of Secrets (Stravaganza, #4)

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