Monday, November 6, 2017

Middle Grade Monday: Refugee by Alan Gratz

Refugee by Alan Gratz. 352 p. Scholastic Inc., July, 2017. 9780545880831. (Finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

Refugee is a powerful, must-read book for every student (and teacher) in TMS. Three young refugees from three different time periods tell the story of their harrowing escape from Nazi Germany in the 1940s, Castro's Cuba in the 1990s and present-day Syria respectively. The parallel stories are compelling enough on their own, but author Alan Gratz weaves them together brilliantly, ratcheting up the danger and suspense along the way. Warning: there will be tears. 

Regular or observant readers of this blog might do a double-take as I did review the audiobook just last month. I couldn't wait to get my thoughts out on this absolutely timely, compelling, powerful MUST-READ book! Today, Refugee was featured today on "The Daily Booktalk" on my student announcements as written above. Those announcements are featured here daily so it appears here as well. It's well-worth repeating here. This book can't get enough praise as far as I'm concerned. I hope the committees are taking a look at it. It has already shown up on a "Best of 2017" list. Publishers Weekly published theirs last week along with a few other fine books. 

My school's first Scholastic Book Fair was last week and Refugee was featured prominently with lots of copies available for sale. As my principal and I were perusing the fair, I pointed to the book and told him how much I loved it. I said, "Were we ever to do a One-Book/ One-School read, Refugee would be my choice." 

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