One of our recommended books is Boy, Everywhere by A. M. Dassu

BOY, EVERYWHERE


Sami loves his life in Damascus, Syria. He hangs out with his best friend playing video games; he’s trying out for the football team; he adores his family and gets annoyed by them in equal measure. But his comfortable life gets sidetracked abruptly after a bombing in a nearby shopping mall. Knowing that the violence will only get worse, Sami’s parents decide they must flee their home for the safety of the UK.

Boy, Everywhere chronicles their harrowing journey and struggle to settle in a new land. Forced to sell all their belongings and leave their friends and beloved grandmother behind,

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Sami loves his life in Damascus, Syria. He hangs out with his best friend playing video games; he’s trying out for the football team; he adores his family and gets annoyed by them in equal measure. But his comfortable life gets sidetracked abruptly after a bombing in a nearby shopping mall. Knowing that the violence will only get worse, Sami’s parents decide they must flee their home for the safety of the UK.

Boy, Everywhere chronicles their harrowing journey and struggle to settle in a new land. Forced to sell all their belongings and leave their friends and beloved grandmother behind, Sami and his family travel across the Middle East to Turkey, where they end up in a smuggler’s den. From there, they cross the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean and manage to fly to England, only to be separated and detained in an immigration prison for the “crime” of seeking asylum. Yet the transition from refugee to immigrant in a new life will be the greatest challenge Sami has ever faced.

Based on the experiences of real Syrian refugees, this thoughtful middle-grade novel is the rare book to delve deeply into this years-long crisis. Portions of the proceeds of this book will be used to benefit Syrian refugees in the UK and to set up a grant to support an unpublished refugee or immigrant writer in the US. Sami’s story is one of survival, of family and friendship, of bravery and longing … Sami could be any one of us.

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  • Tu Books
  • Hardcover
  • March 2021
  • 400 Pages
  • 9781643791968

Buy the Book

$19.95

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About A. M. Dassu

A. M. Dassu is the author of Boy, EverywhereA. M. Dassu won the international We Need Diverse Books mentorship award in 2017. She is the deputy editor of SCBWI-British Isles’ Words & Pictures magazine and a director at Inclusive Minds, an organization for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility in children’s literature. Her work has been published by The Huffington Post, the Times Educational Supplement, SCOOP Magazine, Lee & Low Books, and DK Books. She lives in the heart of England. You can find her on Twitter as @a_reflective or at amdassu.com.

Praise

Named one of The Guardian‘s Best New Children’s Novels.

“Carefully researched, wholly convincing, it’s a gripping, uncompromising debut, super-charged with the power of empathy.”The Guardian

“Compelling, informative, hopeful.” –Kirkus (starred review)

Discussion Questions

1. What kinds of emotions does Sami grapple with after he finds out Sara and his mother are at the mall where the bombing happened? How do these emotions affect his thoughts and actions?

2. What does sacrifice look like over the course of the story in Boy, Everywhere? What did Sami and his family have to do in order to feel safe?

3. How does Sami’s character change over time? What does Sami learn as he encounters obstacles and challenges along the different parts of his family’s journey to England?

4. How does trauma affect Sami and his family members differently? How do they each cope with the aftermath of the bombing and the upheaval of their home life?

5. Why does Sami think the war wouldn’t really affect him? How does his thought process change?

6. What are the coping strategies and techniques that Sami uses along the journey to England? How does he combat his negative thoughts and feelings in order to keep going?

7. What happens to Sami and his family at the airport after they arrive in England? How does this demonstrate racism and discrimination as a whole?

8. What current events can you connect to Boy, Everywhere? What makes you think of that? Why?

9. How does Boy, Everywhere reflect the hardships that displaced and refugee families endure all over the world?

10. What do you think author A.M. Dassu’s message is to the reader? What do you think she wanted to tell young people through the main character, Sami, as well as his family?