A Refugee Story

Book - 2018
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"Homes tells the story of Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, a young boy whose family moved from Iraq to Syria just before the start of the Syrian civil war. It recounts what it was like living in Syria during this time -- the normal things like video games, sleepovers, and family jarringly juxtaposed with car bombings, massacres, and the constant threat of what could happen next. In 2014 the family finally found safety in immigrating to Edmonton, Canada, and the book also recounts both the gratefulness and the loneliness of the family's immigration experience."--
Publisher: Calgary, Alberta :, Freehand Books,, 2018.
ISBN: 9781988298283
Characteristics: 216 pages ; 18 cm
Additional Contributors: Yeung, Winnie 1982-


From Library Staff

What is childhood like during war? How do ordinary people continue living their lives? This account follows Abu Bakr's extended family from Iraq to Syria to Canada. A collaboration between Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and his Edmonton English teacher, Winnie Yeung, this unique book was a Canada Reads fina... Read More »

List - Canada Reads 2019
MsHillary Feb 09, 2019

A story that is as much about the effects of the Syrian Civil War as it is about a families bond and their love for each other.

From the critics

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Sep 21, 2020

Very well written. It takes you back to the situations Bakr and his family went through.
The author did an excellent job portraying this.

Feb 23, 2020

An excellent read. I think the author does a good job portraying the complex emotions of leaving one's homeland, regardless of the situation. The ending was particularly moving. Best of luck to the entire al Rabeeah family.

Aug 07, 2019

Abu-Bakr and his family present the most heart-warming, satisfying and page-turning book, that I have ever read in my entire life. The book shows that just because Syria is at war, the people of Syria are not supporting it. I also love that the story features so many awesome action scenes that leave you on the edge of your seat.

May 19, 2019

The autobiography of a young Iranian refugee is stark in the horrors he observed as his family found themselves fleeing to Syria. It highlights the division between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Detailing the struggle to get Canadian refugee visas, the story is a stark reminder of the challenges faces by people displaced by war.

mazinwhistler May 13, 2019

I picked this book up as it was this month's Book Club - I am so glad I did! What a story! Beautifully told by Bakr and beautifully written by Winnie Yeung. This story evokes so many emotions - I cried, laughed and rode the rollercoaster with Bakr and his family on their journey. For those of who have been so fortunate to never experience war and destruction to a place we love and hold dear it is reminder that we are truly lucky to live in a country that is not only safe but willing to help those in need. A worthwhile read and well deserving recipient of this year's Canada Reads.

Apr 13, 2019

"The writing makes you feel that you are right there with the characters experiencing what they experience. Even when you breathe a sigh of relief that they are safe in Canada you feel the loss as the family struggles to make a new life. "-- (comment by Dirtbag) and I totally agree! plus I learned some things about Islam, Iraq, and Syria, not to mention what it's like to come to a new country.

Apr 10, 2019

I found this to be similar to 'By Chance Alone' another of the Canada Reads books. However, I liked this one better. The writing makes you feel that you are right there with the characters experiencing what they experience. Even when you breathe a sigh of relief that they are safe in Canada you feel the loss as the family struggles to make a new life. It is an amazing book.

BPLpicks Mar 25, 2019

Homes is the remarkable true story of how a young boy emerged from a war zone — and found safety in Canada. Another powerful story from the five titles that will battle it out during the 2019 Canada Reads event.

Dec 31, 2018

Wow, this is a powerful book! Everyone who has been fortunate enough to live their entire lives in a place of peace would do well to read Abu Bakr's story. I found it did a very good job of immersing the reader in the wide variety of emotions a young person would feel going through two civil wars and then suddenly being dropped into a Western city. Fear, safety, home and belonging can wear different faces in different places, and it is not an easy thing to change "home" even when you are in a safer place. I would recommend this book for any teen or adult.

Nov 02, 2018

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. But I can say, imagine the shoe being on the other foot: Canada is immersed in civil war and life is precarious, so you are offered sanctuary in a safe place, Syria, to which you move, leaving all your 'normal' life behind and immersing yourself and your family in new customs and a language of which you have only learned a couple of words. Imagine working to succeed in this new country. That's this book. It's a wonderfully written story of a young man and his love for his family.

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Dec 31, 2018

mctet thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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