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Without Refuge

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  49 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Thirteen-year-old Ghalib doesn't want to leave his home, but Syria has become too dangerous, and his family has no choice but to flee. Their perilous journey leads them across heavily guarded borders, into squalid refugee camps, and toward an uncertain future. Ghalib is separated from his family, thrown together with other refugees, and forced to fight for his survival at ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2018 by Carolrhoda Books
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I knew nothing about the civil war in Syria until I read this book. Writing in the first person, from the point of view of 13-year-old Ghalib, made me feel that I was right there with him. To go from living a normal life to having nothing but the clothes on your back is shocking and unimaginable, yet this is what many refugees endure in their search for a safe place to live. This book made me see that civil war is just as bad as war between countries in forcing people to become refugees. I’m so ...more
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Good story but I preferred Refugee by Alan Gratz. This one just didn’t have the emotional punch I was hoping for. Good description of what is was like, and is like to,to flee Syria.
I had high hopes for this one and it let me down.

It started off fine; it was actually near perfect in like the first two pages. But then it got incredibly boring and a character was very cliche.

When I first saw Without Refuge, I respected it. A book about a Syrian refugee who is stuck in a devastating war and escapes?

Yes please, we need diverse books.

But then it went in a slow pace with a character that really irritated me.

For example-

Ghalib (the main character) burned both his feet when a bom
A tough but important read for anyone wanting to understand the experience of Syrian families forced to flee their war town country. If you saw the devastating picture of that Syrian child on the beach, this story felt like a direct explanation for how he potentially ended up there.

Horn Book review.
Ms. Yingling
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Public Library Copy

Ghalib and his family are tired of the war in Syria and the negative effects it is having on every aspect of their lives. His father ran a local pharmacy, so the family is well off and has essentials, so when they decide to leave, they have more options than some, even if those options aren't great. The other benefit is that the family is able to leave all together with the exception of a cousin who was injured, and the adult staying with him. They make it to a town that is a
Valerie McEnroe
This story is heartbreaking. It details the treacherous journey that Syrian families must make to try and reach safety in Europe. First they must cross the Syrian border into Turkey, which is not easy. Then they must travel across the Mediterranean Sea in worn-out, over-packed boats to reach Greece. Smugglers charge exorbitant prices and families must have a minimum amount of life savings to even attempt the journey. Many families who set out never make it, and those who do face possible years i ...more
LitPick Student Book Reviews
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thirteen-year-old Ghalib’s life has been turned upside down by the Syrian Civil War. His town is virtually destroyed, and he can't go to school or do the regular teenage-boy things he used to enjoy. One day, when Ghalib is out looting, a bomb explodes nearby and almost kills his cousin Hazma. When the leader of the Protection Units tries to recruit Ghalib and his sister, Bushra, to be soldiers, his parents decide that they need to flee Syria immediately. Although Ghalib’s feet are still burned f ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Mitchell, Jane Without Refuge 269 pages. Carolrhoda Books (Lerner), 2018. $16.99. Language: G Mature Content: PG Violence: PG

Ghalib is a 13-year-old boy living in war torn Syria. After he and his friend are injured when a barrel bomb explodes, his father decides that it is time to leave. Escaping will not be easy. First they must walk through the devastated city of Aleppo, barely surviving a child sniper, and then they become backlogged at the Turkish border. At one point Ghalib gets separated f
Merrilyn Tucker
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story tugs at your heartstrings from start to finish. Ghalib and his family live in war-torn Syria. Bombs fall all around them, restricting their lives and forcing them to live in fear day and night. When Baba, Ghalib's father, decides the family is going to leave Syria, they start on a trek that is just as fearful as their daily life in Syria. They travel on foot to Turkey, wind up in a refugee camp, and then go on a boat to Greece. The afterword by the author explains what could possibly ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book Talk:
Ghalib and his family live in war-torn Syria. He is used to the destruction in his city and the danger that lurks around every corner at night. Then he and his cousin are badly injured in a bombing as they scavenge for items to sell. Ghalib's family decides enough is enough, and make the decision to flee Syria for safer conditions. They make the dangerous journey to the Turkish border where they encounter terrible living conditions and find out that no one is allowed to cross into fre
Nicole Gubler
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very powerful book about the experience of a family from Syria seeking refuge from the war. The story follows the family starting from the reason they decide to try to escape Syria through crossing borders, living in a refugee camp, loosing everything they have crossing Turkey and attempting to reach Europe and the hopes of freedom. There is no conclusion for the family which I think is a suitable ending for the book since I’ve seen so many refugees waiting in limbo to determine what is next f ...more
Mary Lee
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, war, refugees
Quite a text set of Syrian refugee stories building up: this book, Escape from Aleppo, Refugee, Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein...

This one isn't as emotionally gripping as Refugee by Gratz, but shows with horrifying detail what refugee camps are like.
Abby Obert
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
3 2/3 stars
Its important to read these kinds of books, and that they exists for upper elementary/middle school kids to help them know what is going on in the world.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Emotional and powerful. Read it in one night and stayed up till 10 p.m reading it.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2018
I grabbed this book off the shelf on the children’s section of the library on a whim. Well written, very moving. My daughter and I both loved the book.
Marg Corjay
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shows the human conflict in Syria and Turkey from a 13 year old's viewpoint as his family flees the war. Felt that the narrator was true to the narrator age and experiences in life.
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Lerner Publishing Group
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Jane Mitchell was born in England, but she moved to Ireland later on, where she studied in Trinity College, Dublin, and taught elementary school children for a while before working in the community with at-risk teenagers who had dropped out of formal education.

She has also worked with young adults with disabilities.
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