Put simply, you just have to read this book. You have no choice. Jasmine Warga’s Other Words for Home is one of the most powerful refugee stories recommended for 8-12-year-olds that I have encountered in the past months. I found myself drawn into the story told in verse right from the first page and it keeps going strong throughout the six parts: Changing – Arriving – Staying – Hoping – Growing – Living. It is a stunningly beautiful poetic novel, with a flow and melody that will linger for a long time after you read the last page. [Unpaid ad]
Our town used to be
a place for people to laugh and enjoy
all the things that unite them like
family and sunshine and the sea and good food.
Not the things that divide them like
opinions and political loyalties.
But now everyone wants to know
where you stand.
What you think.
What you believe.
— Warga, Other Words for Home
Never would Jude have imagined that things would get so dangerous and out of hand in her hometown that she would even have to leave her country Syria, her father and older brother behind to move to the US together with her mum. She finds, however, that her love for American movies – especially those starring Julia Roberts – have not really prepared her for the loud and fast lifestyle and struggles to find a new home and a new identity. She always heeds her older brother’s words to „be brave“ and so overcomes challenges in high school. She even auditions for her new school’s musical.
This must-read story, published by Balzer + Bray in 2019, has 332 pages which are followed by a glossary of Arabic words, which I found extremely useful, as well as an author’s note and her acknowledgements. I would like to share with you what Jasmine Warga says about her own book in the author’s note:
We’re in a period of human history where empathy is needed more than ever. As the mother of two little girls, I’m constantly trying to teach them the idea that no one ever grows poor from giving. That sharing what you have does not make what you have worth any less. I guess that’s what this book is really about — the ever-growing need for generosity. And generosity is really just another word for love. So let’s work on giving more love to others as well as to ourselves. — Jasmin Warga
I have decided to give away two copies of Warga’s masterpiece in my 4th give-away this December, because we need more gorgeous books like this on our children’s bookshelves. As Jason Reynolds puts it: „This is a necessary story. We’re lucky to have it in the world.“ We are lucky indeed, and I am also more than happy to share this powerful read with the world.
Here’s how to enter the international give-away:
1. LIKE this post here or on instagram (@mis_libros_abiertos)
2. Leave a ❤ in the COMMENT section (here or with the instagram post)
3. Make sure that you FOLLOW me (and stay ❤) here or on instagram 😊
Good luck! 🍀
Terms & Conditions: The contest’s duration is December 22 – December 27, 2019. Entries close at midnight (CET) on December 27, for all comments here or on instagram. Prizes (1 hardcover per winner) will be sent by mail. Participants from any country are eligible. Void where prohibited. The lucky winner will be selected at random using a random number generator and will be informed by email or direct message on December 28, 2019.
🎄 Have a wonderful Sunday! 🎄