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Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  585 ratings  ·  151 reviews
The phenomenon of desperate refugees risking their lives to reach safety is not new. For hundreds of years, people have left behind family, friends, and all they know in hope of a better life. This book presents five true stories about young people who lived through the harrowing experience of setting sail in search of asylum: Ruth and her family board the St. Louis to esc ...more
Paperback, 64 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Annick Press (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  585 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stormy Seas is a book about immigration. It tells multiple individual stories about children migrating away from their homes to escape to a better place. The illustrations and photos help bring the story to life. Children will understand how serious and dangerous their lives became. It's frightening and eye opening.

The book gives information about where they're coming from, why, when, number of passengers, name of boat, destination, events that took place along the way, and their fate.

I highly
Dave Schaafsma
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"—Emma Lazarus

Today, June 20, 2017, is International Refugee Day. I think most people tend to think that “boat people” are a temporary problem, and relatively minor in compared to other issues in the world. Most of us do know that droves of people have left Syria and are flooding primarily Europe a
Documents experiences of real people who fled their homelands by boat as children. Would pair with Gratz's Refugee. ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Leatherdale here recounts the true stories of five children who, as refugees, fled their homelands in boats seeking a new home and safety. These stories, told partly in the children’s own words, are harrowing and sad, though all end happily. Leatherdale includes statistics, maps, and photos as well as Eleanor Shakespeare’s illustrations in dark ocean colors, to tell their stories. Anyone who complains about immigrants in their community needs to read books like this to understand the conditions ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The thing about history, is that it repeats and repeats itself, and those of us who notice this know from past experience what to expect. This book is the story of refugees, stories told by them directly, or from source material. How long have their been people trying to escape their homeland for a new world? In the book, the time line stretches back to 1670, but that doesn't mean that was when the first refugees appeared.

In very simple language, the stories are those of Jews escaping the nazis,
Austin Poulin
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot. While reading I learned quite a bit about immigration and the risks and rewards of migrating. This book reminded me very much of the book "Refugee" that I have currently finished reading. Both had similar aspects and ideas. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to read a historical fiction book but also learn a lot of information. ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was ok. It was kind of confusing but the illustrations were good.
Mary Lee
This is an important book. It gives a historical context for the current refugee crises and provides hopeful stories of survival and success.
Linda Lou
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Children 10 and older
Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees
By Mary Beth Leatherdale
Illustrated by Eleanor Shakespeare
Rating 5

The phenomenon of desperate refugees risking their lives to reach safety is not new. For hundreds of years, people have left behind family, friends, and all they know in hope of a better life. This book presents five true stories about young people who lived through the harrowing experience of setting sail in search of asylum: Ruth and her family board the St. Louis to escape Nazi
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was very interesting. This book contains five different stories of people who were trying to escape their circumstances in their home countries to move to a safe environment.

I really thought this book was going to be about all of these people trying to get to the United States, but this was not the case.

What I liked most about this book is that it not only told the story of each individual, but there were statistics about world events that influenced each refugee, as well as a "What Happe
Joyce Yattoni
First of all, the book just smells good. 😉 We are using this as our summer school text. The stories of refugees are high interest and students are learning a lot about geography as well as the human spirit. The illustrations and text features are beautiful.
Clare Lund
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Extremely powerful nonfiction picture book about various migrant survival stories throughout history: kids escaping Nazi Germany, Vietnam, Cuba, Afghanistan, and the Ivory Coast. Appropriate for younger readers to recognize history repeating itself and to help develop empathy for situations readers have never personally experienced. Would make an excellent resource to pair with teaching Refugee by Alan Gratz. Ages 10 and up.
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short nonfiction picture book that pairs nicely with Refugee by Alan Gratz.
Laura (Book Scrounger)
Stormy Seas is a timely look at young refugees of the past, especially considering the current refugee crisis in which more than five million people have fled Syria, half of whom are children. This book helps to show us that refugees are not new at all -- the young people featured in this book fled from Germany, Cuba, Vietnam, Ivory Coast, and Afghanistan, all due to violence, government oppression, or other threat of persecution.

Each of the five sections shares the story of one person's flight,
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I LOVED this book. It is actually a non-fiction collection of stories about young people who fled their countries by boat. There is a story about a young jew in World War II, but there are also stories that the author gathered from the actual people herself - stories about refugees from Cuba, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Ivory Coast. I found it to be very moving and in this day and age where in Germany the s
Alex  Baugh
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the consequences of war is a high number of people who are forced to leave their homeland because of danger and/or persecution and seek asylum in other countries. Today, we see people seeking asylum from places like the Middle East, Mexico, and Central American countries. Many young readers may think that these stories they have been hearing about in the news and on TV about people fleeing their homeland are a new phenomena.

But, in fact, there have been a number of times that people left
Vernon Area Public Library KIDS
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grade:4-8
In this book we learn the real stories of five young people, traveling by boat and seeking refuge from their native countries, from 1939-2006. Ruth from Breslau, Germany travels to Havana, Cuba, on the SS St. Louis in 1939. Phu, a refugee from Saigon, Vietnam, leaves his family in 1979, and joins a crowded boat with the hope that America will be his destination. The next refugee is Jose from Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, who leaves Cuba with his family and becomes part of the Mariel Boatlift in 1980. N ...more
Donna Merritt
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book. After meticulous research and connecting with young refugees to hear their stories, Mary Beth Leatherdale presents their first-person accounts, the reasons they had to flee, their harrowing journeys, and what ultimately became of them. The children range in age from 11 to 18. Ruth escapes Nazi Germany, Phu leaves South Vietnam, Jose gets out of Cuba, Najeeba runs from the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Mohamed flees the Ivory Coast civil war. Their experiences are terr ...more
Cheyanne Welch
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While researching for my senior paper, I learned that around half of refugees are children, and half are female yet nearly every story told about refugees are from the perspective of adult men. While their stories are definitely still worth hearing, we need to make an effort to also hear the stories of children and women. That's why I so appreciated this book. Although it was geared toward a juvenile audience, it was refreshing to read stories from the perspective of refugee children, both male ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-copyright
What a great book to pair with Refugee! Stories of children who left their homes in search of asylum told in plain language. An important window for children as they learn that humanitarian crisis is wide spread, real and nothing new and that the human spirit is resilient and hope can be found in even the worst of circumstances. (see previous reviews for more detail)
Ian Tymms
The real stories of real people escaping persecution and hardship by boat. Five stories that extend across modern history from WWII to Syria. Powerful, timely and important and very good to have it in our classrooms. Illustrations, statistics and fact boxes add to the power and utility of the text.
Jennifer Mangler
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an important collection of powerful true stories of young people forced to leave their homelands, both past and present. Stormy Seas is an important book that can be used to spark much-needed discussions.
Chrissy Harrold
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-young-adult
Really good young adult non-fiction. Engaging pics, info graphs, text boxes, and timelines. Each story followed a person and there was a follow up section on what ended up happening to the refugee.
Laura Phelps
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: possiblemsba2017
This pretty much took my breath away. The stories are told in such simple terms, but with amazing depth and breadth. The illustrations are extraordinary.
Mahrysa York
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is about immigration and the troubles that young people went through to get better lives in other places. This was a good book. It was also a quick read.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I wish the book was printed in a different size instead of like a picture book.

Kept thinking of Refugee by Alan Gratz and how this would pair so nicely with that.
Penny Durham
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: refugees
This is one the best informational books. The illustrations-phenomenal. The stories- phenomenal. Every person in America needs to read this book!!
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars I sat around the table of book committee and 4 out of the 8 people said "let's stop here this is the best book on the list" Though said in part jest, I know see what they were talking about. It was a page turner for me. I was engrossed in the story, and the pictures and the heartbreaking stories. Very worth reading!!
Catherine  Pinkett
was sent an early copy of this book in exchange for my independent and honest review. A beautifully illustrated non fiction book that clearly portrays the plights of refugees from various different parts of the world,past and present. This collection of stories had a moving effect on me and was very thought provoking. I feel that it is an ideal resource to teach children about others that are less fortunate than themselves and why most refugees flee their country of origin due to danger and fear ...more
Edward Sullivan
A timely collection of true stories of desperate young refugees seeking a safe haven.
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