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Escape from Syria (Hardback)
  • Escape from Syria (Hardback)
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Escape from Syria (Hardback)

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£14.95
Hardback 96 Pages / Published: 27/11/2017
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A graphic story of intense current events. From the pen of former Lebanon Star reporter Samya Kullab comes a breathtaking and hard-hitting story of one family's struggle to survive in the face of war, displacement, poverty and relocation. 'Escape from Syria' is a fictionalized account that calls on real-life circumstances and true tales of refugee families to serve as a microcosm of the Syrian uprising and the war and refugee crisis that followed. The story spans six years in the lives of Walid, his wife Dalia, and their two children, Amina and Youssef. Forced to flee from Syria, they become asylum-seekers in Lebanon, and finally resettled refugees in the West. It is a story that has been replayed thousands of times by other families. When the family home in Aleppo is destroyed by a government-led bomb strike, Walid has no choice but to take his wife and children and flee their war-torn and much loved homeland. They struggle to survive in the wretched refugee camps of Lebanon, and when Youssef becomes fatally ill as a result of the poor hygienic conditions, his father is forced to take great personal risk to save his family. Walid's daughter, the young Amina, a whip-smart grade-A student, tells the story. As she witnesses firsthand the harsh realities that her family must endure if they are to survive - swindling smugglers, treacherous ocean crossings, and jihadist militias - she is forced to grow up very quickly in order to help her parents and brother. Kullab's narrative masterfully maps both the collapse and destruction of Syria, and the real-life tragedies faced by its citizens still today. The family's escape from their homeland makes for a harrowing tale, but with their safe arrival in the West it serves as a hopeful endnote to this ongoing worldwide crisis. Beautiful illustrations by Jackie Roche - whose work on the viral web-comic, Syria's Climate Conflict, covered prominently in Symboliamag.com, Upworthy.com and Motherjones.com, among others - bring Kullab's words to life in stunning imagery that captures both the horror of war and the dignity of human will.

Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781770859821
Number of pages: 96
Dimensions: 255 x 203 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The story Kullab tells here is a fictionalized one, and it comes from the point of view of a young girl named Amina. But it's a tale that could be true for countless refugee families during the Syrian uprising and subsequent refugee crisis... Kullab and Roche do not hold back: The story authentically captures the violence and harrowing moments of the family's experience. As it should be. The more poignant, heart-wrenching moments, many between Amina and her parents, will linger with readers, and the book will go far in helping many American middle and high-schoolers understand the complexities of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.--Julie Danielson"Kirkus" (10/27/2017)
Escape from Syria is a testament to the resilience of human beings, despite the chaos of war. In addition to the physical deprivations of life in a refugee camp, and the emotional and social dislocation which comes with leaving one's country, readers see the constant anxiety and fear that comes with living in a state of siege and of profound insecurity. Amina displays strength and courage beyond her years... Jackie Roche's illustrations add another layer of understanding to Amina's account of "how we came to be here, in a country so different and far from our own... Although the intended audience for Escape from Syria is listed by the publisher as 12 plus, I think that it is more likely that the content would be of interest to senior high school students of World Issues or those with a strong interest in international politics. And, in schools with a Syrian refugee population, it might be a valuable outreach tool for teachers and other students, telling that group's story in way that provides a bit of safe distance. Highly recommended for senior high school libraries and as a resource for teachers of world history and current world issues.--Joanne Peters"Canadian Review of Materials" (11/03/2017)
This is a powerful, eye-opening graphic novel that will foster empathy and understanding in readers of all ages.--Shannon Ozirny"The Globe and Mail" (11/10/2017)
In 2014, a phrase was anonymously spray-painted on a wall in Homs, Syria: "When I leave, be sure I tried everything in my power to stay." This poignant graffiti reverberates throughout Escape from Syria... Jackie Roche's drawings and Mike Freiheit's colour work add intensity and solidify the strong emotional engagement Kullab creates. Feelings of anger and fear are conveyed beautifully with thick black brush strokes where the page's white gutter usually lies... There are big visual moments in Escape From Syria, but the subtle ones are even more effective.--Ardo Omer"Quill and Quire" (12/01/2017)
(starred review) This is a collaborative masterpiece: Kullab, a reporter who has an extensive background covering conflicts in Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, has teamed up with cartoonist Roche to deliver this emotional narrative. Kullab begins Amina's story in media res, immersing the audience into a fully realized world with strong characters. Roche's colorful illustrations, with cartoon characters and immaculately detailed scenery, provide emotion and heart... Amina's story closely mirrors real historical events, and Syria feels like a developing protagonist in the plot. There are moments of graphic violence and the depictions of war-torn landscapes feature wounded soldiers and corpses... This is a must-purchase for any teen or adult graphic novel collection.--Matisse Mozer"School Library Journal" (12/01/2017)
Roche's artwork will appeal to young adults for its stark realism. This is an important attempt to explain the background of the war in Syria and the problems faced by those who try to escape its horrors.--Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson"Winnipeg Free Press" (12/09/2017)
The family's suffering is horrifying and heartbreaking, but the characters' resourcefulness and strength bring hope to their tale of hardship... This book succeeds in offering information alongside a compelling narrative, all the while keeping the focus on the characters and their relationships. Back matter includes photographs that put moments from the story in historical context.--Elisa Gall"Horn Book Magazine" (01/01/2018)
With Escape from Syria journalist Samya Kullab draws on her experience reporting on the Syrian refugee crisis, crafting a poignant, illuminating fictional tale. Amina and her family's life in Aleppo City is disrupted when war erupts. After the marketplace is bombed, they journey to a refugee camp in Lebanon. The family's money begins to run out, and the marginalization of Syrians by the Lebanese government leaves them vulnerable. Eventually they get the chance at a new life in Canada. Kullab presents a clear time line of events, lucidly describing the long-term causes of the war and its effects. Jackie Roche and Mike Freiheit's gentle cartoon artwork tempers the upsetting elements (bloodshed, warfare, a harrowing attempt to flee by boat) without glossing over the horrors. The illustrations emphasize concrete details, such as Amina packing a teddy bear or helping her dad navigate the bus in Toronto, making the story all the more relatable. Copious endnotes offer additional explanations (definitions of Arabic words, discussions of the rise of ISIS). Readers will be both moved and enlightened by this insightful introduction.--Mahnaz Dar"School Library Journal" (01/09/2018)
In Escape from Syria, Kullab creates a composite young Syrian girl, Amina, a straight-A student from a solid middle-class family. Amina, her younger brother, and her parents flee Aleppo with only what they can carry. In Lebanon, they struggle to make ends meet in a UNHCR camp. Amina leaves school to work, the family stops renewing their visas, and her brother falls ill. Amina's family is one of the lucky few; eventually, they are recommended by a UN worker to be relocated and are resettled in Canada. The author clearly has an agenda: show every bad thing that is happening (or has happened) to Syrian refugees in a clear format that can be read by a wide-ranging audience. An appendix provides references and statistics to back up each event... It is easily accessible, authoritative, and well documented, and would be appropriate as an entry-level volume into recent Syrian history for a wide-ranging audience.--Beth Karpas"VOYA" (12/01/2017)
A fictional graphic novel that is very much realistic... The author does a fantastic job of making us see the options refugees have and understand the sacrifices that must be made in different cases for security purposes.--Lola"Hit or Miss Books Blog" (10/14/2017)
Despite dealing with weighty political issues, the book is highly accessible and would be a useful introduction to students interested in learning more about the Syrian conflict. In an appendix, Kullab also expands on many of the issues mentioned throughout the text, providing appropriate context to a complex situation... This is an important book that provides a humanizing look at the horrific experiences of Syrian refugees and their quest for freedom.--Natalie Colaiacovo"Resource Links" (02/01/2018)
USBBY's 2018 Outstanding International Books List--Martha M. Walke"School Library Journal" (02/01/2018)

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Reviews

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“Beautiful story”

Wonderful tale of survival. Bought for my kiss to help them understand Syrian refugee crisis.

Hardback edition
19th April 2018
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