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From Far Away

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  298 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
When Saoussan immigrated with her family from war-torn Lebanon, she was only seven years old. This picture book tells the story of how she had to adjust to her new home in Canada. She describes the frustration of not understanding the teacher when she started school, not knowing how to ask to go to the bathroom, and being terrified of a Hallowe'en skeleton. This is the per ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by Annick Press (first published January 1st 1995)
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Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
When Saoussan immigrated with her family from war-torn Lebanon, she was only seven years old. This picture book tells the story of how she had to adjust to her new home in Canada. She describes the frustration of not understanding the teacher when she started school, not knowing how to ask to go to the bathroom, and being terrified of a Halloween skeleton. This is the perfect book to help kids empathize with immigrant children whose experiences are very similar to Saoussan’s.

From Far Away 6-- bookspoils

We have here a vita
A warm and sweetly illustrated picture book documenting Saoussan's experience as a young Lebanese refugee adjusting to her new life in Canada.

Thank you to Netgalley and Annick Press Ltd. for providing an arc of this for review.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing

We don’t understand the plight of refugees. We don’t understand why they are leaving their countries. We don’t understand why they are coming to our shores.

But we need to. We need to have empathy instead of politicizing their plight. Instead of having reasons for excluding people from our country, we need to understand.

This book is a step in that direction. This was a great story - and parts of the book made me laugh out loud.

I love how the book shows the introduction of someone to
This book was first published in 1995 when the young girl, Sadussan, who tells her story had just immigrated. It has been re-published this year. It's sad to think it feels even more relevant today. At first, briefly, the book begins with the family having their apartment bombed and realizing they must go. Most of the story dwells in Sadussan's challenges at a new school and not understanding anything! A paper skeleton in the hallway frightens her a lot, and among other things, she decides the ...more
Wayne McCoy
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
'From Far Away' by Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar with art by Rebecca Green is a picture book about a young immigrant girl in a new country.

The book is based on the experiences of the author Saoussan Askar. When her home country (which is not named) became less safe to live in, her parents made the choice to move to Canada. There were things she didn't like at first, like the long plane ride, or the fact that she couldn't understand the teacher in her new school. The other kids try to help her
Laura (Book Scrounger)
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Global issues like the refugee crisis can be difficult to talk to children about, but even though it is based on events that took place twenty years ago, From Far Away expertly communicates the universal need to belong somewhere, from the perspective of a child.

Written in the first-person voice of young Saoussan Askar, this story briefly describes the danger of war in her native country (Lebanon, though I don't see this actually stated in the book), and Saoussan's struggles with integrating int
Denise Hershberger
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This book does a semi-deceny job of showing the plight of the refugees from war torn countries. however, where I felt the story lacked was in how fast the little girl acclimated to her life here. Most students realistically don't get to the point the girl did in the story in a year. But that being said maybe this author really did.

I liked the reminders for readers that even asking to go to the bathroom was impossible. I'm an ESL teacher and many descriptions in this book perfectly described my s
Christina Reid
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
Brilliant book looking at the realities of families being forced to leave their homes to escape violence and the challenges of integrating into a new country, culture and language.
Full review to come on my blog.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This wonderful children's story provides a much needed message to Canadians about welcoming young refugees into a country unfamiliar to them, promoting more understanding and acceptance!
Kristine Hansen
3.5 stars

I don't like the device of making this story a letter to someone else. But I did like the honest depiction of the difficulty of moving to the Western World (in this case, Canada) from an area that is so violent and different. This is one that could be used with a unit on current events in the classroom. Interesting story, fairly well done.
On my quest to read all the Munsch books, I discovered this great little book about being an immigrant to Canada from a war-torn country. Musch collects stories from all over, and Saoussan's tale about her first experiences in a Canadian school (trying to understand washroom rules, trying to understand Hallowe'en) gives insight into what it is like to deal with an entirely new culture.
Pam Klassen-dueck
Not a story you'd expect to find in a picture book: it's based on a real letter Munsch received from a Canadian refugee girl. Makes me cry every time.
Cheriee Weichel
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
An older version of this title was first published in 1995. This version acknowledges Saoussan Askar's contributions to the story and is presented with a different illustrator. The book is as profound now as it was then. Given the political climate, it might be even more important.

Immigration is part of our story here in North America. Green's illustrations show us a Muslim family who were forced to leave their country because of war. Readers will empathise with Saoussan, as she struggles to ma
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This real-life story was first published in 1995. With all the turmoil and immigration movement in our world at the present time the story seems even more relevant today.

Seven-year old Saoussan and her family immigrate to Canada from Lebanon because of the war and danger they are experiencing in their native land. She attends a school in Toronto and has a very difficult time adjusting because of her language barrier and her unfamiliarity with Canadian customs and people. Frightened and feeling
Saoussan is a second grader, she is seven years old, she came from far away, and she frames her story as if she is talking directly to the reader, her reading buddy. Saoussan tells her story of coming to Canada from her home country where a war started. With the war came bombings, a lack of food, and people being shot at. When she gets to Canada her father tells her to be good and listen in school, but Saoussan doesn't speak English, so she can't understand the teacher or the other students. Sch ...more
Ben Truong
From Far Away is a children's picture book written by Robert Munsch with Saoussan Askar and illustrated by Rebecca Green, which tells the real life immigration story of Saoussan Askar and how she and her family escaped Lebanon during the Lebanon Civil war in the late 80s.

Munsch's text is rather uncharacteristic of the books I have read from him. The text wasn't outlandish or funny, but it is rather simple, straightforward and somewhat poignant. I think that Munsch emulated Askar's voice and writ
Kate Conway
This story is derived from a letter written by a young girl in second grade. She moved to Canada and writes about all of her difficulties she crosses when trying to fit into a new life. She explains them as 'funny' things that happen to her. When Saoussan (the young girl) came, the other students made it clear that she was very different -- she overcomes this and becomes quite the talker. She tells several stories in this book, like her first Halloween.
I believe this book is a wonderful source
Carla Johnson-Hicks
This story was originally published in 1995 and illustrated by Michael Martchenko. This re-release has been illustrated by Rebecca Green.

This is a timely story with all the immigrants and refugees that have moved to North America over the past 10 years or so. It tells realistically about the fears and struggles of seven year old Saoussan Askar a refugee from Lebanon. She wrote a letter to Robert Munsch about her move and transition to Canada and together they wrote this story. It shows ways that
Rachel McKitterick
*thank you to Annick Press Ltd and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4.5 stars
Ohh I just want to hug Saoussan!! She is a beautiful girl who came from Lebanon to Canada when she was only 7 years old. This is a huge change for such a little girl and showing readers what its like when you go from one country to another really makes this an eye opener. Saoussan tries to fit in at school and at first she is very scared as she does not understand everything around her.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"So far, my favorite part of grade two is the trip our class took to the zoo. We got to see the pandas and monkeys and eat pizza and nobody shot at us the whole time."

This a poinient story of a refugee, as told by the refugee to Robert Munich, after she had been in the country for about two years. It is very simple, but to the point. Being married to a former refugee, the quote above says it all, that you can go out, and not get shot at is a big deal about moving to a new country.

Great book to i
Kayla Osborne
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
From Far Away is a great book to help students understand some of the feelings and fears of their immigrant classmates. This book presented a clear explanation of characters, a problem and solution, and a theme. This relates to my text set because it demonstrates the experience of a female. The main character Saoussan is a female and her teacher who helped her is too. One day, Saoussan was frightened by a paper skeleton, and her teacher comforted her simply with a hug. This enabled her to feel m ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
In 1995, elementary school student and refugee from Lebanon, Saoussan Askar, wrote a letter to children's picture book author, Robert Munsch, about her new life in Canada. Together, they turned her story into a book. There are two editions, one published in 1995 and one in 2017 with new illustrations. Though the letter was written over 20 years ago, the themes and experiences of being a refugee are the same and just as relevant today as they were then, especially in our current climate. I read b ...more
Amanda Work
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
This story of immigration is told from the perspective of a small girl using simple language which other small children will easily understand. Though the concept of being a victim of war and circumstance, similar to a refugee, is not a common theme in picture books, the author's autobiographic account allow for an emotional connection between the character in the book and the reader.

The universal struggles the girl faces including isolation and loneliness, regardless of age or background, makin
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
"So far, my favorite part of grade two is the trip our class took to the zoo. We got to see the pandas and monkeys and eat pizza and nobody shot at us the whole time".

Written and published in 1995, this story introduces immigration and the concept of war refugee immagration. The illustration and story are well done, and perfect to introduce children or students to the concept - told as if from the author saying hello to a new friend, and telling her story.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book in 1995 and I absolutely love the new update. The illustration and editing make this story a wonderful addition to any library or classroom. It gives children the ability to see through another’s eyes and maybe see the world a little differently and with empathy. I also loved that Saoussan provides an update on her life! I’ve often wondered what she did when she got older. Fantastic book!
a wonderful #ownvoices (especially by Saoussan Askar who doesn't get credit on the byline on goodreads) book about a child's experiences in immigrating to a new place, navigating language barriers, family separations, and cultural expectations; wonderfully supportive characters and explanations of moving past shame and displacement to strength, skill-building, kindness, and acceptance with supportive peers and teachers. <3
Vikki VanSickle
This edition of a Robert Munsch classic has been re-illustrated by illustrator-du-jour Rebecca Green. The book is the true story of Saoussan Askar who immigrated to Canada from Lebanon when she was 7 years old. Saoussan wrote to Robert Munsch to tell her story and they collaborated on this book. This revised edition, including a letter from Saoussan, has a fresh, modern look and the story is still resonant- perhaps even more so- today. A must-have for school collections!
Hannah Holthaus
I really liked how this book exposed us to how people who are not from our country feel when they come to our country. It also shows us that some of our customs are weird and how different our everyday lives are from one another. Students tend to judge people if they do not "fit in" and I thought that this book really broke it down and told students how important it is to accept people and give them time to adapt to the huge culture change.
Juliana Lee
Saoussan and her family moved to Canada after their home was bombed. She was afraid of wars and shooting. She didn't understand the new customs and language. She was afraid of paper skeletons and wanted to go home, but her father told her this was her new home. Soon she learned enough English to make new friends and then became one of the best readers and writers in the class.
Sierra Dirksen
This book is set in a letter format. A girl is writing to a pen pal about how she moved. She goes through how hard it was for her to transition to being in the new place, but she finally became used to it. This book teaches children that everyone goes threw different things. It helps remind us to be mindful of others. Overall it is a well written book with cute pictures.
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Robert Munsch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Fordham University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and from Boston University in 1971 with a Master of Arts degree in anthropology.

He studied to become a Jesuit priest, but decided he would rather work with children after jobs at orphanages and daycare centers. In 1973, he received a Master of Education in Chil
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