Refugee by Alan Gratz


Three young teens. Three different decades. Three dangerous countries to escape.

Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany. Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. The survival story of each character unfolds in brief, alternating chapters. Each experiences life-threatening situations, turmoil with their loved ones, and cruelty from strangers. This novel shows realistic, but not excessively graphic, situations of unrest, violence, and death that many refugees experience in reality. How do people leave the only lives they have known in order to survive? How do they journey to unfamiliar countries and start new lives? Refugee depicts the perilous migrations of these fictional youth and connects them through time in surprising ways.


Scholastic Press, July 25, 2017, 352 pages, MS/HS.


Booktalk by Teresa Allen.