Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Marwan's Journey” as Want to Read:
Marwan's Journey
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Marwan's Journey

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  311 ratings  ·  67 reviews
One night they came... The darkness grew colder, deeper, darker, and swallowed up everything...

Marwan is a young boy on a journey he never intended to take, bound for a place he doesn’t know. On his journey, he relies on courage and memories of his faraway homeland to buoy him. With him are hundreds and thousands of other human beings, crossing the deserts and the seas, fl
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by minedition (first published 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Marwan's Journey, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Marwan's Journey

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  311 ratings  ·  67 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Marwan's Journey
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely stunning! I love the artistic style and warm colors of this book. There is certainly a solitude, loneliness, and sadness to the tale. More importantly though, there is a blossoming hope and will.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Picture-Books Exploring the Refugee Experience
In simple but poetic text, author Patricia de Arias tells the story of Marwan, a young boy who must flee his homeland one day, when darkness descends upon it. Although no name is given, the artwork makes the Middle Eastern setting evident, leading to the conclusion that our eponymous refugee is Syrian. Encouraged by the words of his mother, Marwan keeps walking, hoping for a future of safety, a future in which he will one day return to his home...

Originally published as El camino de Marwan, in S
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Marwan is a little boy on a long journey filled with walking and heading to a place he’s never been. When his home was attacked by soldiers in tanks in the middle of the night, Marwan had to start walking. He thinks often of his mother and father, their little house where they lived happily together filled with sunlight. Now he must walk through the desert to a new homeland carrying a pack of hope on his back.

This picture book is imported from Spain and has the feel of a European children’s book
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Marwan is on the road, off on a journey to another place, leaving behind all he knows, all he loves. This is a story of sadness, of loss, but it is also a story of deep hope and promise. It's a story children rarely hear. It's a story children need to hear.
Alex  Baugh
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
When war comes to his (unnamed) country, a young boy finds himself fleeing on foot across the desert, his footsteps leaving behind"a trace of ancient stories, the songs of my homeland, and the smell of tea and bread, jasmine and earth" and apparently his deceased mother. By day, this small refugee carries the sound of his mother's voice urging him on, step by step, and to never look back. At night, he dreams of her coming to tuck him in. As he walks with others who are also fleeing, crossing bor ...more
Westminster Library
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, drew
Marwan’s journey is a beautifully illustrated story of a boy who is forced to leave his country and walk and walk and walk to freedom and peace. I loved the story’s richness and simplicity. The illustrations drew me in to thinking what this must be like for refugees around the world. Their courage must be strong and their will to survive stronger. Even though the subject matter is difficult, there is a thread of hope throughout that comes to light at the end.

Find Marwan’s Journey at the Westmins
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: refugee requests for the young
Recommended to June by:
A story of a refugee, who hopes to return and rebuild his home. The hope makes this appropriate for younger children and portrays that not all refugees are looking for a new home or country.

Warm tones convey the warmth felt for the homeland, while the black swallows it up.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
One day, I will return. I will not hesitate. I will plant a garden with my hands, full of flowers and hope.

The dust cover says, "Marwan's journey is everyone's journey." In an awful way, this is true. The mass displacement of souls from Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and other countries in the past decade has normalized the experience. (Not to say that refugees are 'new' to history, though, only that there is a high concentration of media on the current displacements.) In today's world, a refugee's story c
Varvara V
This book talks through a personal story of dark times and moving forward. It shows the struggles of a boy and his culture. I recommend this book because it is really deep and beautiful. I think students who relate to the patterns and cultural illustrations in the book will resonate with it. A teacher may use this book to open up a discussion about different struggles the students may have faced and how they overcame them.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
This is a beautiful book. Patricia de Arias takes readers along on young Marwan's journey across the desert to a new beginning in an unknown land. "I take giant steps even though I am small," the narrator tells us. The trip is difficult and he misses his mother. Looking back, he describes the sudden darkness (war) that descended on his homeland and sent "thousands of feet, one in front of the other," walking away from home. Despite the hardship, he keeps walking, holding memories of his house an ...more
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Marwan's story and journey are told with broad enough strokes that this story could be several refugees' story. However, because it is so general it makes it difficult to connect specifically with Marwan.
One of the most painful realizations is identifying how much a children’s book Marwan’s Journey is. That storytelling tradition in the repetition of lines, “one, two, three…” of words: walking and walking… This is the story of a child, for another child to hear…and participate. Isn’t that what we do with the counting, with the repetitions, we invite the listener to participate and anticipate. And also, to remember.

Borràs’ illustrations are a perfect counterpart to de Arias’ text; both are exquis
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren- The Smile Lines
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the kidlitexchange for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Marwan’s Journey by @Ariaspatriciade is the story of a young boy leaving his homeland. He takes you on his journey to a new home with hopes of safety for his future. Marwan hears his mother’s voice in his head saying to keep moving forward and to not look back. He tries to be brave but fears rush through his mind. Marwan hopes to return to his homeland in the future when there are brighter days. I really enjoyed th
Aravis Wheaton
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Marwan is a young boy who is forced to leave his homeland because of war. As he walks and walks, he remembers his homeland and the special things that made it home. Sometimes the memories make him cry...but he continues to walk along with countless others. Eventually he will make a choice to be hopeful and positive in his new life, but he will always remember his homeland.

Sentence fluency and word choice/repetition are traits that could be addressed and modeled in the classroom. The use of these
Sandy Brehl
Refugee stories are making their way into picture books now, and many involve very specific geographic locations, identities, cultures, and events. That is a welcome and valuable addition to the availability of books that will reflect and reveal the truths of our world.
In this case, the illustrations and the text allow a refugee story to shed those anchoring details and focus on the central human issues: family, loss, migration, risks, uncertainty, hopes, and more. This book opens possibilities
Shan Salter
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
@kidlitexchange #partner #bookstagram #kidlitexchange #kidlit

Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

This powerful picture book follows the journey of a young boy, Marwan, a refugee seeking a new home. The writing conjures beautiful images and is relatable to anyone on a journey to find a new home. Despite his situation, Marwan’s voice is filled with hope for a brighter future.

This is an ideal picture book for explaining the plight of re
Carina Spring
Good for all grades as a read aloud, or for independent reading in 3-5 grade

This book is about a boy name Marwan who is immigrating as a refugee. He travels with hundreds of other people, carrying the belongings they managed to keep. It follows him through the long journey until they begin to create roots in a new place He describes how one day he wishes to return home.

This story can be used in the classroom as a comfort for students who were refugees or whose parents are. It can also open up co
Denise Walsh
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This is a good story for children 5 and up in my opinion. Younger children do not understand yet how children can grow up so different than themselves. Especially when you do not live in an area where there are a lot of families that have been taken away from there homes and all that they know. We talk to our grandchildren about this but they are not yet 31/2. I will give and read this book to them when I see some understanding which I expect in about a year. The book itself is well written, on ...more
Connie T.
This is the story of a refugee boy who flees his home in the desert and walks and walks and walks. During happier times he has a mother, father and cat. Then "they" came in the night and "swallowed up everything: my house, my garden, my homeland." Thousands of people are walking. There's no sense of the boy having his family with him. Though it ends on a hopeful note, this story is very dark.

This might be "too much" for kids who are reading picture books while at the same time, those who can un
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Marwan's Journey is the story of a young boy who is a refugee seeking safety with his family. It tells in simple terms of crossing the dessert on foot. He carries with him a bag with a few simple possessions. He keeps his memories of his homeland close as they walk with many others across the dessert seeking safety. Marwan has dreams of returning some day to his homeland with hope for the future and plans for better times.
A young boy travels away from his homeland across the desert. “I don’t know when I will get there, or where I am going.” He is accompanied by hundreds of people who have lost their homeland when “they came ...” They travel toward a border ... “another country, another house, another language. Stories of other homelands.” But Marwan knows that one day he will return to his homeland. He will bring hope and “paint the walls with happiness.”

Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
A story of a refugee child and his journey from a war torn country to freedom. Shows in illustrations the war torn images and fear and the walking of people fleeing the area. Muted colors or unhappiness and leaving his family and home for a new life in a new place across the sea. Sadness and walking to a better life and not specific from where or to where he is going just the walk and the need to be away from his homeland and the war.
Jessica Brown
A heart-wrenching and much needed story of a little boy who has to leave his homeland, who longs for a time stolen from him and wonders where he is going. Best for the older crowd, as it may go over the little's heads. Roughly 5+
Juliana Lee
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: refugee, hope, 2018, minedition, war
Marwan's family and thousands of others are forced to leave their homeland and walk across the desert to another country. But Marwan dreams of returning home and building a house full of light and happiness.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This is the story of Marwan. He is taking a journey across the desert from his homeland to an unknown land, fleeing a war. It is told in beautiful poetic language and accompanied by stunning illustrations. A fantastic book about the immigrant/ refugee experience.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a young child, Marwan leaves his house and everything he knows, to travel to an unknown future. His homeland is invaded, and his family must move to keep safe. He is separated from his mother, but is intent that moving forward will bring a brighter future. Wonderful illustrations.
Story from point of view of a refugee child who has to leave his mother and his home, walking miles across the desert, not looking back.
Artwork conveys emotions of story well. Lack of specifics maybe makes story more universal, but makes it harder for reader to connect with the story.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
During an unnamed conflict, soldier tore down Marwan's home and killed (inferred) his mother. He and thousands of other flee the conflict by walking across the desert until they get to safety. He vows that one day he will return to his homeland to live again.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well, it's a start. I was still disappointed that the story itself was so vague. A parent, teacher or other caregiver, would need to fill in an awful lot of blanks for kids to understand the story. Illustrations were nicely done, but vague.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lubna and Pebble
  • Dreamers
  • The Wall in the Middle of the Book
  • Another
  • The Day War Came
  • Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
  • A Day with Yayah
  • A House That Once Was
  • Birdsong
  • Saffron Ice Cream
  • Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights
  • The Stuff of Stars
  • The Funeral
  • Hey, Water!
  • Maybe Tomorrow?
  • The Rough Patch
  • At the Mountain's Base
  • Bowwow Powwow : Bagosenjige-niimi'idim
See similar books…
Patricia de Arias was born in Spain in 1973. She began her career as an actress before publishing a number of children’s books in Brazil, where she now lives. Her work has received international recognition, including Marwan’s Journey, which received a Special Mention at the Bologna Ragazzi Awards in Italy in 2017.

News & Interviews

Contemporary young adult literature has often led the way in depicting the real-life issues facing teens from all backgrounds. To delve into ho...
36 likes · 3 comments