The Happiest Refugee Audiobook 13
Parents need to know that Refugee by Alan Gratz is a historical novel that braids the stories of three young refugees in three different time periods and settings: 1938 Berlin, 1994 Cuba, and 2015 Syria. The circumstances of all the kids and families are dire, and their journeys are fraught with imminent danger. The publisher recommends this book for kids starting at age 9, but due to the level of violence and peril, we recommend it for 11 and up. Only two of the three protagonists survive, and all lose family members. Also, Josef, the Berlin Jewish boy gets beat up, as does Cuban Isabel's father. Syrian Mahmoud's home is destroyed by a missile, and he sees a dead man floating in the sea, as well as a soldier with a bullet in his head. Some in the book almost drown. One character's leg is bitten by a shark and he bleeds to death. But the book isn't gratuitously violent. It paints a vivid picture of the plight of refugees, and the kids and families seem both real and relatable, making this a good book for sparking family discussion.
the happiest refugee audiobook 13
REFUGEE braids three different stories of young refugees. In one, Josef and his Jewish family flee Nazi Berlin in 1938. They board the ship St. Louis, based on the actual ship that brought Jewish refugees to Cuba and then to the United States but was denied entry by both. That ship had to return the refugees to Europe, where they were split among four countries, and when those countries subsequently fell to the Nazis, many of the refugees were killed. In another story, Isabel and her family leave Cuba in 1994 on a homemade boat and head for Miami. They weather storms, fight off sharks, and have to deliver a baby onboard. In the third story, Mahmoud and his family flee their Syrian homeland in 2015 when their building in Aleppo is destroyed by the constant shelling. They make their way to Turkey, then by boat to Greece, and overland to Germany. They almost drown, and are preyed upon by mercenaries who exploit their vulnerability. All three journeys are difficult, and the protagonists have to deal with many setbacks and hurdles.
This ambitious, harrowing page-turner is chock-full of historical information, and it succeeds in providing a vivid window onto the lives of three fictional child refugees. Author Alan Gratz alternates the three stories set in different countries and time periods, keeping the chapters in Refugee short and ending each on a cliffhanger, which makes them easy to follow. Gratz writes fast-paced, suspenseful fiction while involving us with characters who seem like real, relatable kids. Though he never lets up on his characters, who face new danger at each page turn, all the kids travel with their families, so there's comfort in that. He also skillfully manages to loosely relate the different stories and characters at the end, which adds to the poignancy and satisfaction.
The only quibble might be his handling of the historical context for the Cuban story. Gratz doesn't mention until his Author's Note at the end that the U.S. trade embargo has been a significant contributing factor to the hardship endured by the Cuban people, important information since the U.S.-Cuba relationship remains a thorny political issue. But the novel as a whole is masterful, and readers will be spellbound by these three very moving stories, which can help them understand and develop empathy for families who are refugees.
Three tales in one, the book is told in alternating chapters by three narrators. The stories feature Josef, a Jewish refugee fleeing WWII Germany, Isabel a Cuban girl on her way to Miami in 1994, and Mahmoud a Syrian refugee seeking asylum in Germany in 2015. The chapters rotate between the three characters and their stories do connect at the end in a meaningful and moving way.
The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim. This is an example of a book which has recommended reading age that is too low for the subject matter. I listened to the audiobook and fell in love with the main character. Te publisher recommends it for ages 8 and up, but after listening to it, I suggest ages 10 and up and it is perfect for ages 12-14, even though the protagonist is twelve. In medieval China, Li Jing has a hard life. Her poor family sells her off to a family who intends to marry her to their toddler-son and she goes off to live with her new in-laws who turn out to be cruel and treat her as a slave. When she refuses to submit to them, they sell her off to a house for courtesans but she escapes and goes on a journey to find refuge. Li Jing is a fiercely strong girl character who increasingly gains confidence in herself and takes control of her own destiny.
Refugee by Alan Gratz. This moving book tells three stories. Josef is a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany; Isabel and her family are attempting to escape Castro's Cuba in 1994; and in 2015 Mahmoud's family runs from war-torn Syria. The alternating narration draws parallels between all three journeys with an ending that brings the three stories together. I found this book to be gripping and it is a timely book to give your 13 year old to read.
Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh is another book I couldn't put down. 13 year old Max is an American boy whose family has come to live for a year in Brussels. Max is resentful that he has to repeat a grade and go to a French-speaking school. Ahmed, a 14 year old Syrian refugee is separated from his father on the water crossing to Greece. He is able to make his way to Belgium and hides out in Max's basement. When Max discovers him, the two become friends and hatch a plan to help Ahmed get out into the world again. A timely, sensitive book about friendship, family and taking charge of one's life.
No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen. Felix Knutsson lives in Canada with his single mother, but when his grandmother dies and Felix's mother can't keep things together they start living out of their van. Felix, who is bi-racial, has a knack for facts and makes it on to a popular quiz show. In the end, Felix and his mother find the help they need from friends and a refugee couple who understand their plight. Despite the themes of poverty, mental illness and parental inadequacy, Felix's narration is actually quite funny and this was an enjoyable book to read.
Another norm under siege is protection of the rights of migrants and refugees, including the rights to due process, to freedom from discrimination, and to seek asylum. All countries have the legitimate authority to regulate migration, but they must do so in line with international human rights standards and without violating the fundamental principles of justice provided by their own laws and constitutions. Antiliberal populist leaders have increasingly demonized immigrants and asylum seekers and targeted them for discriminatory treatment, often using them as scapegoats to marginalize any political opponents who come to their defense. In Freedom in the World, eight democracies have suffered score declines in the past four years alone due to their treatment of migrants. With some 257 million people estimated to be in migration around the world, the persistent assault on the rights of migrants is a significant threat to human rights and a potential catalyst for other attacks on democratic safeguards.
Every year since 2010 the good people at AudioFile magazine have made it their mission to put tons of FREE audiobooks in the hands of teens (ages 13+) all summer long so they can introduce teens to the joys of the listening experience.
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael BeahBeah was a refugee twice over: once at 12 when he was forced to leave his village and become a child soldier in his native Sierra Leone, and once at 17 when he left the country for the United States. Crystal-clear writing and a straightforward, unforgettable narrative.
A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Melissa FlemingFleming, the chief spokesperson for the UN High Commission for Refugees, wrote this incredibly compelling true story of Doaa Zamel, a Syrian refugee who survived the September 2014 shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea.
In 2009, she starred in ITV's A Place of Execution. The role won her the Best Actress Dagger at the 2009 Crime Thriller Awards. She performs as a book reader, and has recorded all of Jane Austen's novels as unabridged audiobooks, as well as a number of other novels, such as Lady Windermere's Fan, Hedda Gabler, Stories from Shakespeare, and To the Lighthouse. She received lifetime achievement prize at Women in Film And TV awards.
In 2008 she campaigned on behalf of refugee women with a reading of "Motherland" at the Young Vic. She is patron of the UK registered charity LAM Action, which provides support, information and encouragement to patients with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and their families, and raises funds to advance research into LAM. Stevenson is an Amnesty Ambassador  and patron of the refugee charity Young Roots.
On 12 September 2016, Stevenson, as well as Cate Blanchett, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Peter Capaldi, Douglas Booth, Neil Gaiman, Keira Knightley, Jesse Eisenberg, Kit Harington and Stanley Tucci, featured in a video from the United Nations' refugee agency UNHCR to help raise awareness of the global refugee crisis. The video, titled "What They Took With Them", has the actors reading a poem written by Jenifer Toksvig and inspired by primary accounts of refugees, and is part of UNHCR's #WithRefugees campaign, which also includes a petition to governments to expand asylum to provide further shelter, integrating job opportunities and education.
The only optician on the island of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean is an ordinary man in his fifties, who used to be indifferent to the fate of the thousands of refugees landing on the coast of the Italian island. One day in the fall of 2013, the unimaginable scale of the tragedy became clear to him, and it changed him forever: as he was out boating with some friends, he encountered hundreds of men, women and children drowning in the aftermath of a shipwreck. The Optician and his seven friends managed to save 47 people (his boat was designed to hold ten people). Hundreds died. This is a poignant and unforgettable account about the awakening of conscience: more than that, it brings home the reality of an ongoing refugee crisis that has resulted in one of the most massive migrations in human history.