Review: The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

The Unwanted Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (9781328810151)

This graphic novel tells the stories of Syrian refugees in their own voices. Based on interviews and visits to refugee camps around the region, the book clearly tells the story of the basis of the refugee crisis in Syria. As the flood of refugees begins and then continues, the nations taking in the refugees see sentiments in their populations shift to be anti-immigrant due to the overwhelming costs and disruption. Still, the refugees need a place to live in peace, a place to make a home and a place to feel safe.

Brown returns with another gripping nonfiction graphic novel. He uses the refugees’ own stories to really create a book that is heart-wrenchingly realistic. Young readers will benefit from hearing how the crisis began and will learn a lot about refugees, the dangers they face and the risks they are willing to take for freedom. The art in the book is done in limited colors, often filled with sandy yellows and deep browns. The faces of the refugees are compellingly depicted, often with expressions of deep fear, loss and grief.

A strong and important look at the Syrian refugee crisis in a format that makes the content very readable. Appropriate for ages 13-16.

Reviewed from library copy.

Blue Peter Book Awards 2019

The longlists for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019 were announced a bit ago and I missed it, so this is a post on those longlists right before the shortlists are announced tomorrow. A reminder, that this is a UK book prize so some of the titles may not be known by American readers. Here are the nominees:


The Boy At the Back of the Class The Boy Who Grew Dragons

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf

The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie

Brightstorm The Clockwork Crow

Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy

The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher

The House With Chicken Legs Iguana Boy Saves the World: With a Triple Cheese Pizza

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli

Iguana Boy Saves the World with a Triple Cheese Pizza by James Bishop, illustrated by Rikin Parekh

Into the Jungle: Stories for Mowgli Knights and Bikes

Into the Jungle: Stories for Mowgli by Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Kristjana S. Williams

Knights and Bikes by Gabrielle Kent

Sky Song Song of the Dolphin Boy

Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone

Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird



Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention 

Absolutely Everything! A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention by Christopher Lloyd

Alastair Humphrey’s Great Adventurers: The Incredible Expeditions of 20 Explorers by Kevin Ward

Ancient Warriors The Bacteria Book: Gross Germs, Vile Viruses, and Funky Fungi

Ancient Warriors by Iris Volant and Joe Lillington

The Bacteria Book: Gross Germs, Vile Viruses and Funky Fungi by Steve Mould

Beetle Boy: The Beetle Collector's Handbook (Beetle Boy) The Colours of History: How Colours Shaped the World

The Beetle Collector’s Handbook by M.G. Leonard

The Colours of History: How Colours Shaped the World by Clive Gifford, illustrated by Marc-Etienne Peintre

The Element in the Room: Investigating the Atomic Ingredients that Make Up Your Home Flying Colors: A guide to flags from around the world

The Element in the Room by Mike Barfield, illustrated by Lauren Humphrey

Flying Colours: A Guide to Flags from around the World by Robert G. Fresson

Peace and Me Professor Astro Cat's Human Body Odyssey

Peace and Me: Inspired by the Lives of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates by Ali Winter and Mickaël El Fathi

Professor Astro Cat’s Human Body Odyssey by Dr. Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman