MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Dear BookBrowsers,

Refugees and immigrants have long been the backbone of societies around the world, and their struggles have been rich fodder for books long before their plight (once again) occupied center stage in geopolitics. Whether it's the European refugee crisis or the United States deciding to deport many who came here as part of the 2014 South American unaccompanied minors influx, or the vitriol spewed by politicians rooted in fear, the complexities of the issue refuse to lend themselves to easy sound bites. These are discussions worth having, book club or not, especially given that they could not be more a timely reflection of the headlines around the world.

For a limited time you can read our full reviews and "beyond the book" articles for all these books for free.

All books also available in ebook & hardcover

The Same Sky The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

Paperback Sep 2015. 304 pages. Published by Ballantine Books

It was in 2014 when children from South America streamed into the United States seeking refuge from wrenching conditions back home. Eleven-year-old Carla, the anchor of this story, who tries to make her way from Honduras to Texas with her brother, might as well be one of the real-life refugees. Her story of displacement and heartache along with hope shines a light on the treasures left behind even as one chases after hope in a new world.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

When the Moon Is Low When the Moon Is Low: A Novel by Nadia Hashimi

Hardcover Jul 2015. Paperback Apr 2016. 400 pages. Published by William Morrow

Imagine persecution so horrific that you have no choice but to upend your entire life and flee. That's exactly what Fereiba is forced to do, three children in tow, when her family is targeted by the Taliban after they take over her native Kabul. A BookBrowse First Impression reviewer noted : "unbelievable love, courage and tenacity of being a refugee as well as the smell of fear are all in this book. Yet, it is somehow hopeful. I learned a great deal about so much and enjoyed this book immensely. Somehow every nation must find a way to welcome and support refugees -- they are leaving a hell we can't imagine."
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

Little Bee Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Paperback Feb 2010. 304 pages. Published by Simon & Schuster

A refugee from Nigeria, the teenaged protagonist of this book club favorite seeks asylum in England. Her many struggles might be personal and layered, and this novel first published more than five years ago, but it's a testament to the enduring relevance of the plight of refugees everywhere that the story still resonates today. Loaded with plot twists that slowly reveal the bold protagonist's past, Little Bee and her humanity promise to make a deep impression on readers.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide
This, Chris Cleave's second novel, is titled Little Bee in the USA and Canada, and The Other Hand, in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears: A Novel by Dinaw Mengestu

Paperback Feb 2008. 240 pages. Published by Penguin

Sepha Stephanos has seen horrific violence up close in his native Ethiopia, when his own father is beaten to certain death in the Revolution. Piecing together the barest minimum to make a life in a new land, this immigrant to the streets of Washington D.C. finds himself at the bottom rung of an American dream that seems far from reach, and part of new racial and ethnic contours he could not have seen coming back home.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène

Paperback Jul 2006. 192 pages. Published by Harvest Books

What's it like growing up in one of the Muslim ghettos in the City of Lights? Fifteen-year-old Doria will tell you it's a lasting struggle especially when your family is fractured and you're forced to face destiny head on. Especially relevant in the light of today's headlines, this young-adult novel will find many fans through its endearing protagonist who proves that the Paris ghettos are about more than just religious tensions, poverty and soccer.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

In the Sea There are Crocodiles In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari by Fabio Geda

Paperback Jun 2012. 224 pages. Published by Anchor Books

A mother's love delivers her ten-year-old boy to Pakistan when her Afghan village falls to the Taliban. But will Enaiatollah Akbari actually make it to safety? What about the psychological toll of displacement and separation? As the boy relies on his wits and resources to move through some of the world's most dangerous hotspots, we realize the sheer resolve needed to tear everything apart and begin anew.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

No Safe Place No Safe Place by Deborah Ellis

Paperback Sep 2011. 208 pages. Published by Groundwood Books. For Ages 9+

After fifteen-year-old Abdul has lost his family in Baghdad to horrific war crimes, he believes he has won a safe place in the West only to find himself in The Jungle, the makeshift refugee camp in Calais (that is once again making news headlines). On a mission to leave these dire straits, Abdul and his band of ragtag escapees find themselves in deep water when trouble strikes. Proof that the concept of safe harbor is a luxury for most refugees.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

Zeitoun Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Paperback Jun 2010. 368 pages. Published by Vintage

Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun had the best of intentions when they began helping out their neighbors devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Sadly they had one essential problem: they were Muslim. This deeply moving nonfiction account shows up the dark side of the United States' war on terror, and while Katrina marked its tenth anniversary in 2015 the fear of Muslim immigrants is achingly real even today.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

Enrique's Journey Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

Paperback Jan 2007. 336 pages. Published by Random House.

Like hundreds of thousands of others, Enrique's mother is scraping by on bare minimum in the United States so she may send money to her family back home in Honduras. For teenaged Enrique this is not enough. Separated from his mother when he was just five, he sets off on a hazardous quest to find her in North Carolina, including riding the notorious Mexican freight trains known as El Tren de la Muerte, The Train of Death. Equipped with little more than a phone number and ample doses of grit, this is a moving nonfiction account of a story that won the author a Pulitzer Prize.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

I Shall Not Hate I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity by Izzeldin Abuelaish

Paperback Jan 2012. 256 pages. Published by Walker & Company

Born and brought up in the Jabalia refugee camp in Palestine, this Harvard-educated doctor was long considered a humanitarian for his willingness to treat patients on both sides of the long-standing Israel-Palestine faultlines. But his renewed call for ongoing dialog in the immediate aftermath of the loss of his three daughters and niece from Israeli tank shells, serves as lasting proof that compassion could possibly be the only salve to long-simmering hatred. Abuelaish now resides in Canada but his life example serves as a shining beacon for brotherhood even in the most resolute conflict zones around the world.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

Across Many Mountains Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom by Yangzom Brauen

Paperback Oct 2012. 320 pages. Published by St. Martin's Griffin

The Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1950 set a domino effect of religious persecution into motion leaving many Tibetan Buddhists to seek refuge in more accommodating countries. Kunsang, a young monk in China, has her life forever changed by these political events when her family decides to cross the treacherous Himalayas to freedom. Losing both her husband and her youngest child on the journey, she nevertheless lays the foundation for a future that includes plenty of hope and love. 
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

Spare Parts Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream by Joshua Davis

Paperback Dec 2014. 240 pages. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

The country hates you -- you're an undocumented "alien," the target for deportation at any time. Yet it is precisely four teenagers such as these, the Davids against other established Goliaths, that together craft a winning robot. Their story of overcoming huge odds, with the help of two inspiring science teachers, is testament to the fact that hidden gems can come from anywhere and that immigrants are America's greatest wealth.
Review, "beyond the book article" and reading guide

Curated by Davina Morgan-Witts. Written by Poornima Apte.

I think A Country of Refuge edited by Lucy Popescu should be added. A collection of stories which left the reader with much to think about regarding Refugee situations
# Posted By Jayne Catherine Pinkett | 12/6/16 9:49 AM
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The Paris Hours by Alex George