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The Refugee Experience: Books for Children


With refugee stories and heartbreaking images all around us due to the current situation in Syria, (you can read more at “Understanding the Syrian Refugee Crisis”) perhaps you have encountered questions from children.

What is a refugee? A simple definition from the Oxford Dictionary tell us that a refugee is: “A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.”

Here is a selection of recent books for children that talk about the refugee experience, as told by different voices from different places.

The Refugee Experience, Children’s Books

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney. The Story of Amira, a Sudanese girl.

I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosín. The story of Celeste, a girl from Chile.

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai. The story of a Vietnamese girl, Hà.

The Lily Pond by Annika Thor. The story of Stephie, a refugee from Austria.

Azzi in Between by Sarah Garland. A graphic novel depicting the story of Azzi.

A Long Walk to Water, A Novel by Linda Sue Park. Two children from Sudan, Salva and Nya, their stories.

90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis. Julian's story, a boy from Cuba.

The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson. The story of Meli, a gril from Kosovo.

Escaping the Tiger by Laura Manivong. Vonlai's story, a boy from Laos.

Shooting Kabul by N. H. Senzai. The story of Fadi, a boy from Afghanistan.

I'm New Here by Anne Sibley O'Brien. Three children from other countries (Somalia, Guatemala, and Korea) struggle to adjust to their new home and school in the United States.

Do you have any other suggestions or recommendations?


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Refugee book

Do you know anything about a new book for children that centers on the loss of a girl's doll? I think the title is something like Everything will be all right.

Book title

Shooting Kabul by N Senzai. It is not new but the little girl drops her doll as the family flee from Afghanistan. She is left behind.

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