Refugee by Alan Gratz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 Stars rounded up...
A timely read for any middle grade to middle school reader, this brings the refugee story to life from an author that has proven popular with the intended audience time and time again. Weaving together three different story lines, we see the plight of a refugee from the eyes of a twelve/thirteen year old boy Josef escaping from Nazi controlled Germany; a similar aged girl, Isabel, from Castro's Cuba in the 1960s; and more current day Muhammad, a refugee from war ravaged Syria.
Gratz is a master at keeping middle graders hooked into his story, even with this more complicated tale of three stories in three different time periods semingling unrelated. I wished he had decided to tell the story of the refugees as complete parts, with the ending bringing them appropriately together, however I can completely understand why Gratz made the decision to let the stories unfold together. Even with the complication of having three stories throughout--changing perspectives at tension filled cliffhangers-- I would recommend this book for reluctant readers as it does keep you engaged into the stories. Weaving time periods of historical perspectives to present day, this survival themed novel is an excellent conversation starter for those who are seeking to identity and learn about refugees throughout time.
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