When Stars are Scattered

Graphic Novel 264 p. Awards: YALSA, National Book Award Finalist

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What a wonderful book!! Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. They have seen their father shot and killed, and been separated from their mother when their home was attacked. They do not know if she is even alive. Omar feels responsible for his brother who suffers from frequent seizures and is non-verbal. They are also helped by a woman named Fatima who has lost her children. When an opportunity to attend school occurs, Omar begins attending and loves it.

The novel describes the harsh realities of life in a refugee camp: no jobs, the surrounding desert and dust, the constant waiting in lines, and boredom. Even though the book has much despair in it it also contains hope. Omar and Hassan are eventually chosen for resettlement to America and they eventually do find their mother again.

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