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The Color of Home

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  267 Ratings  ·  92 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jean
What a great inspiring story!

The Colour of Home is a picture book which is not funny, not silly, not cute, yet it is bright, colourful and attractive. Best of all, the story engages children on an emotional level, and makes them think a bit. And although parts of it are very sad, it importantly has a happy ending.

It starts with a close-up illustration of a new boy at school, with his classmates in the background. But his face is so very sad. We learn that he is called Hassan, and he is from Som
...more
Ashley Hills
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: immigration
"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
Louise
Oct 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
Sam
Sep 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Alice Nachir
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sara
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Carolynne
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Ch_beverlyatwood
Feb 20, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Barbara
Although his home in Somalia is no longer a safe place for his family, Hassan still misses it desperately and feels as though he doesn't belong in his new home. Even though his classmates in England are friendly enough and try to include him in their games, Hassan is exhausted from trying to learn a new language and keep up with what everyone is saying. Also, school just seems so different in this unfamiliar place from how it was back home. When he paints a colorful picture of his home and then ...more
Aoife Blood
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SPOILER ALERT***SPOILER ALERT***SPOILER ALERT




The poor little boy. -Lilly
It's sad 'cause his uncle died. -Diane
First it was happy but then it was sad. But it was good that everything was good at the end. -Darya
I would recommend reading this book for ages 8 up because it's a true story and it's got some violence in. -Simon
It was really emotional and it made me really sad. And it made me remember when I was in Junior Infants and I didn't understand the teacher either. -Erin
I didn't know why but in
...more
Lauren Kiser
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How sweet of a book. The first grader is starting school in America after they were forced to leave their hoe in Somalia and he is missing how colorful it is there, so his parents and teacher try their best to make his new home colorful.
Naomi
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated, honest, heart-felt book about trauma and loss for a young Somalian refugee.
Roger
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Moving and uplifting story about a refugee family from Somalia, told from the child's point of view.
Shahd Rdawi
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So in touch lovely story
Rory Scott Douglas
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Shajeda Begum
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Winnie Kuster
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Haleema
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This moving picture book, by Mary Hoffman, kept me engaged throughout. It is about a boy who has recently arrived from the war-torn country of Somalia. The plot revolves around Hassan trying to adjust to life in the United States as well as the primary classroom. He is used to having lessons ‘out of doors from early in the morning' until the sun became ‘too hot at midday’ but in America he is required to stay ‘indoors’ until playtime. He seems so affected by the civil war in Somalia so much so t ...more
Nicole
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dolly
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale about a Somali refugee adjusting to life in America. Hassan experiences many changes living in a different place: trying new foods, making new friends, learning English, and trying to escape the bad dreams that he had about the terrible war he experienced back home.

The watercolor illustrations are very colorful and nicely detailed; the characters are very expressive. The pictures complement the narrative very well and I loved boldly colorful endpages. Overall, it's a we
...more
L-Crystal Wlodek
Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Khayrun
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Michelle
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is about a boy named Hassan whose family came from Somalia because of war that struggles with finding comfort in his new home. In a new country that he's unfamiliar with the language and surroundings, Hassan misses the bright colors of Somalia. As he paints a picture of his old home in Somalia, he's reminded of the terror of it and the teacher realizes the difficulty that he must be going through. As he retells the story to his translator, Hassan realizes that he wanted to paint a diff ...more
Nancy
Feb 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-eastern
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
...more
Lisa
Apr 03, 2016 added it
Shelves: multicultural
Summary: After to moving to the United States as a refugee, Hassan feels out of place. Everything is cold and gray compared to home. He misses home greatly. In his new class, he discovers how to communicate his story through the use of his art.

Review: This is a heartbreaking tale about a boy who suffered through a civil war at home. Though he misses his home and the good times he had there, he discovers that he can find beauty and peace even living in a new and different place.

Connections: Thi
...more
Ariana Morales
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Color of Home follows the story of Hassan and his family after he moves from war-torn Somalia to The United States. Hassan, like most kids has some difficulty adjusting to his new grey home, considering there are significant amounts of barriers between himself and the other kids. While at school Hassan decides to express his thought and emotions threw a picture depicting series of harsh colors representing war. Overall the book does explore very realistic and often times harsh realities that ...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
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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
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