I loved this graphic novel. I could feel the dedication and love throughout this book. I still get teary-eyed thinking about this graphic novel and the situations that these young boys went through. It is such a fantastic book; I cannot say enough about it but I highly recommend that you read it. Read it yourself, read it to your children, buy a copy for your classroom and even buy a copy and donate it to someone as this story needs to be told.
They used to live in Somalia. Now, they live in Kenya, in a refugee camp called Dadaab. Individuals who want to live come here from Sudan, Ethiopia, and other African area, this is home. Dadaab is a huge camp, so large that they divided it into 3 separate camps. Omar came here with his little brother, Hassan. They’ve been there for seven years. Yes, I said seven years!
Where’s their parents? Good question and one the boys want to know. Who is taking care of them? Omar is taking care of Hassan as best as he can for a young brother. He’s been missing out on school to take care of his brother. They’ve also been assigned a woman (like a foster mother) Fatuma, to help them. This woman was amazing too, she truly cared for these boys like they were her own. Inside the camp, the boys have their own tent across the way from Fatuma. Many days, the boys were hungry. Hassan only says one word yet the brothers communicate.
When Omar finally gets the chance to go to school, he is torn. Leaving his brother behind, Omar worries for his brother yet he knows this opportunity for him will open doors for their future. The boys still question their parent’s whereabouts and their village. They wonder about returning home yet Omar knows the danger that lies outside the camp.
With bright, colorful illustrations and easy-to-read font, I was emerged into the brother’s story. It was captivating, interesting, and powerful. Omar fought for a better life, there were wonderful successes and moments of frustration and struggles yet he continued on.
Fantastic graphic novel. Definitely read the afterword that is located at the back of the book. I went through many emotions reading this book and I highly recommend it.