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Boy, Everywhere

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  41 reviews
BOY, EVERYWHERE is the debut middle grade novel from writer A. M. Dassu. It chronicles the harrowing journey taken from Syria to the UK by Sami and his family. From privilege to poverty, across countries and continents, from a smuggler's den in Turkey to a prison in Manchester, it is a story of survival, of family, of bravery.

Sami is a typical 13 year-old: he loves his fri
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Published October 22nd 2020 by Old Barn Books
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Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  137 ratings  ·  41 reviews


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Camilla Chester
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a personal review as the author and I are in the same writing critique group through SCBWI. This means I have seen this book in its first, very new, very raw state. I have witnessed the amount of work that has gone into this story to make sure it is as authentic, sensitive and accurate as possible.

This is not just any children's book, it is an important story that aims to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions that are held about refugees that come, not just from Syria, but from all ov
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Barbara Henderson
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous, detailed, moving and at times heart-breaking story about a Syrian refugee. I particularly liked the way that the main character came from an affluent, open-minded and inclusive background, challenging some of the stereotypes and prejudices which refugees often encounter.
It was an intense, absorbing read, but a necessary one.
You know the books you don't forget? The ones which stay with you and come back to you again and again?
Yep. This is one of them.
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Ms. Yingling
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Sami has a happy and secure life in Damascus, Syria. His mother is a teacher, his father is a doctor, and he enjoys hanging out with his younger sister Sara and his grandmother, Tete. He is obsessed with video games and doccer, and spends a lot of time with his best friends, Joseph and George. When his mother and sister are injured in a bombing of the local mall while there picking up Sami's new soccer shoes, he is wracked with guilt. Sara stops talking, and soon
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Barbara Band
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sami is living with his parents and younger sister in Damascus, Syria. He’s like many other 13 year olds – going to school every day, hoping to get into the football team and playing video games with his friends - until a bombing in a mall causes his family to flee their home in search of safety. With relatives in Manchester, Sami and his family head to the UK but it’s a perilous journey and even when they arrive their troubles aren’t over. Sami’s father can’t work as a doctor, Sami encounters r ...more
Suad K
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is possibly the best book I've read since the pandemic started. It was such a beautiful read, a well-written story, and an essential teaching moment. I love how much it highlighted how anyone could become a refugee, and how it portrayed the lives of refugees before the war. It makes you develop so much empathy for refugees, and see them as whole human beings, as opposed to just cases on the news. ...more
Kirin
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
In a very crowded field of refugee themed books, this 400 page middle grades/early middle school novel sets itself apart by really focussing on the quality of life enjoyed in Syria compared to the life of a refugee on the move and in getting reestablished as an immigrant.  Where other books allude to how things in Syria got worse and then perhaps focus more on the horrific journey desperate individuals are forced to take, this book is very direct in showing the young protagonist's daily life in ...more
Caroline
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sami is such a relatable character, the voice is perfect, and seeing their journey from his perspective really brings to life anything a child reading might have heard about refugees. This carefully researched and empathetic novel will, deservingly, be compared to Elizabeth Laird. I had my heart in my throat for so much of the story but I also smiled, a brilliantly crafted debut.
Anna
Apr 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Absolute must read. Took me on an emotional rollercoaster. I do not previously recall having such strong reactions to a story. In parts it made me so angry that I wanted to put the book down and couldn’t. Other times my heart physically ached with sadness. Incredible insight to how the war in Syria has devastated families and the terrible plight of the Syrian refugees. Most suitable for age 10+ as could be considered a little traumatic for sensitive readers but a book that should be read by ever ...more
Karen Carter
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really important read and one that I will be recommending to my class and one that I have handed to my sons to read. The sense that this book is about a boy so like any other across the world is so important for everyone to understand. Life can change in a heartbeat and we should never take what we have for granted and never forget to show humanity and kindness to our fellow mankind.
Beyond its importance for what it says, this is also beautifully written and creates characters and situations
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Katina Wright
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book will stay with me for a long time. It is a wonderfully written, heart wrenching eye opener to the reality of refugees. Sami's story is told with compassion and unflinching honesty, in a way that is relatable. It is both a page turner and one of the most important books written. I've been recommending to teens and adults. I think it should be read especially by all of us living in the Western world. This is a must read book that I highly recommend reading & gifting. It has been research ...more
Zee
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I emotionally struggled, having to take regular breaks, as it was painstakingly overwhelming not knowing where the story will turn.

Everyone should read this book. It's essential reading. Books like this inspire you to do more, force you to do more. We need more Alis and less Hassans.

Thank you A M Dassu and to all those who encouraged you to keep going with it. I hope I, we, can do right by all those that we meet.
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Nicole
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katy Noyes
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cilip-reviewcopy
How quickly a life can change, how the fortunes of anyone can turn...

The main point of this book is hard-hitting, but it needs to be so. It's also relatable, at times harrowing, but very important for young people to understand:

Anyone, given the 'right' circumstances could find themselves needing to flee the world and home they know, through no fault of their own, and be forced to rely on others to start again.

Sami encapsulates this message - a privileged 13 year old in Damascus, who worries ab
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Lynn
Apr 30, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really disappointing to me. I want to know more about Syria and Syrian migrants in Britain. But this novel is written in the choppiest words and sentences possible. It impedes the flow of reading comprehension. I think the sentences were written and words used to achieve lower lexile scores, not because the author can’t write better. The beginning is shocking not because a bomb went off but the kid’s in English reading To Kill a Mockingbird in 8th grade middle school. I really doubt no matter ho ...more
Fern
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Poignant, powerful and perfectly crafted, Boy, Everywhere is a true testament of hope, kindness, and human spirit. A. M. Dassu is reaching extraordinary heights that few authors achieve with their debuts, and with it Az is breaking down borders, challenging stereotypes and changing lives - quite literally as Az has used her publishing deal advances to assist Syrian refugees in her city and set up a grant to support an unpublished refugee/recently immigrated writer.

For Sami, and like any young te
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Graine Milner
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sami's comfortable life in Damascus is turned upside down when a bomb explodes in a shopping mall - just as his mother and younger sister are there, collecting his new football boots. Overnight, everything changes. His parents decide that Syria isn't safe any more, and they begin the long and dangerous journey to England, hoping for safety and some help for Sara, who has stopped talking after seeing a man blown up.

This book follows their journey every step of the way, and a gruelling journey it
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Janice
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ms-appropriate
Is there such a thing as a too-happy ending? While I am glad that things worked out for this refugee family, it just seems like they got a lot of breaks along the way. BUT THAT IS NOT TO SAY THINGS WERE EASY for them.
The beginning of the book was full of brand names of everything--cars, phones, shoes, video games...and I think this is a good way for American kids to identify with Sami right away. (He's just like us!) And I'm sure that going from that kind of life to selling everything you own,
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Justine Laismith
This older middle-grade book is about a Syrian boy's journey to UK seeking asylum.

Our protagonist was very settled in his school in Damascus. His life was thrown into chaos when his local shopping mall was bombed. His mother and younger sister were there getting his football boots for him when the bomb went off. His parents decided to leave the country for the safety of the family and they begin their harrowing journey for a safer life in the UK.

The author has captured much of what we've heard i
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Stephen Connor
An important story of how a Syrian family, living in comfort and serenity in Damascus, is suddenly confronted with the need to escape and seek asylum. A story told many times, but this one seeks to quash the often-believed idea that refugees come from poverty. We learn how Sami, his parents and his sister are the same as so many of the families we will know from our own lives: working, playing football, PS4s, shopping, school, iPads...all mod-cons. This is blown apart (literally) when a bomb alm ...more
Kirsten Barrett
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this a very emotional read and had to stop reading to wipe away my tears. A.M. Dassu manages to tell the story of a family fleeing Syria, however this child is one many will recognise as it could be them. It's breaks the misconceptions that refugees are poor and after benefits.
This family could be any of us, they are doctors and teachers. They have iPads and labelled clothes.
I would love to give this book to do many people that can't seem to find kindness in their heart to understand t
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Breelynd Huntley
Holy Cow! I was not expecting what I got when I started this book. How is it that children are so resilient and how is it that some people can be so horrible to others. The terrible was Sami's host family treated his family had me fuming and I wanted to reach into the book and yell at them to stop. For the incredible things that they all went through and should never have had to, I can't believe what refugees are put through and it shows that there needs to be reform in many countries and not ju ...more
Jayne  Downes
Mar 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This story gives a real insight into the Syrian refugee situation. Thirteen year old Sami and his family are forced to leave their affluent lives in Syria because of the dangers of the Civil War. They take a perilous journey through Europe with forged passports to England where they ask to be allowed to stay. Life in England is hard because they have to stay with another family who don’t want them living with them. They have no money or possessions and are forced to work in menial jobs even thou ...more
Louise Gooding
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The author did an amazing job writing this extremely important book.
A lot of kids don’t understand what is was like for refugee kids, it’s not talked about openly and there can be a lot of misunderstanding and unjust prejudice against asylum seekers.
I am hopeful that books like this will give a small window into the journey of a refugee and actually allow more conversations to take place do a better, truer understanding.
Boy Everywhere is another must have for all schools and libraries.
Helen
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sami is an 13, year old and lives in Syria. One day the family witness a bombing do the family flee Syria and make there way to England.
You are on a journey with the family as they make the dangerous crossing, you are with them as they apply for asylum.
This book makes you open your eyes and makes you realise how lucky we are.
Karen Argent
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for so many important reasons. It tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary thirteen year old Syrian boy making a very difficult and eventful journey from Damascus to Manchester.
Read my detailed review to find out why people need to read it:

http://www.letterpressproject.co.uk/i...

Karen

The Letterpress Project
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Suad D
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
An important book for the young generation to get a more honest narrative about how the life of a family in Syria gets turned upside down and their path to reach a safe haven. The book challenges the negative narrative often pictured in the news describing refugees as poor and uneducated people and show a brighter version of Syria. I hope this book is taught in western schools.
Marie Basting
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An important book about the plight of Syrian refugees. Sami is such a relatable character, and while his story sometimes makes for uncomfortable reading, it is also a highly compelling one, highlighting the importance of empathy and the power of friendship. I hope it reaches as many people as possible.
Denise Forrest
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sami loved his life in Syria and although there was a civil war raging around them, he never thought it would affect him & his family. When his family are caught up in a bombing, it is time to leave. The story follows his journey, through Turkey to England. The horrors facing asylum seekers and the brutality of the asylum system is brought to life in great detail.
Laura Taylor
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
So glad we put this on our list of Must Have books to fundraise for and donate to our local public library and schools as part of our Books for Change campaign. Such an emotional, authentic and important read.
Sareen
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well worth a read for all ages. A truly thought provoking book about the lives of Syrian refugees before they had to leave Syria through to their journeys, arrivals and rebuilding their lives in their new country.
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A. M. Dassu is a writer and magistrate based in the heart of England. She is the Deputy Editor of SCBWI-BI's Words & Pictures magazine and a Director of Inclusive Minds, a unique organisation for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children's literature, and are committed to changing the face of children's books.

She won the international We Need Div
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