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A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
Contributor(s): Abawi, Atia
ISBN: 0399546839     ISBN-13: 9780399546839
Publisher: Philomel Books
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: January 2018
Qty:
Annotation: When the city where he lives with his large, loving family is destroyed by Daesh fighters who bomb buildings, commit acts of violence and publicly execute anyone who resists, a heartbroken Tareq embarks on the perilous life of a refugee traveling a dangerous route from Syria through Turkey and Greece. Simultaneous eBook.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Refugees; Fiction.
Bombings; Fiction.
Muslims; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017021847
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.75" W x 1.25" (0.88 lbs) 279 pages
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 November #2)

In this gripping and heartrending novel, Abawi (The Secret Sky) follows a family of Syrian refugees, whose lives are changed when one of the feared "bombs that fell indiscriminately from the sky" destroys their apartment building. Teenage Tareq, his father, and his four-year-old sister, Susan, survive, but his mother, grandmother, and three other siblings die in the blast. All three flee the country, joining the endless stream of refugees desperately seeking safety. Destiny itself serves as an omniscient narrator, a device that helps to buffer readers from the relentless terror, hunger, and danger plaguing Tareq's family: "To me, you are all from the same world. You have the same hearts, needs, wants and desires." As the family journeys through Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia on their way to Germany, its configuration varies, most poignantly when Fayed pays smugglers to take his children in a perilously overcrowded boat bound for Greece. Newfound friendships and stories of volunteers pulling refugees from the Aegean provide elements of hope in this upsetting yet beautifully rendered portrayal of an ongoing humanitarian crisis. Ages 12–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (Jan.)

Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 December)

Gr 7 Up—Told from the point of view of Destiny, this novel focuses on one Syrian family tragically affected by a senseless and brutal war. Tareq, the eldest son, along with his father and young sister, are the only members of their immediate family still alive after their village is bombed. The only practical means of survival is to flee their homeland for Turkey, Greece, and ultimately, Germany, to evade persecution and probable (if not inevitable) death. Abawi presents a gripping, heartbreaking story about the refugee crisis in Syria, and how all wars cruelly impact people, society, and nations. The author does not shy away from many of the barbaric acts of terrorism perpetrated against the anti-establishment Muslim citizens: beheadings followed by vacant-eyed human heads posted on metal spikes to terrorize nonbelievers into compliance. She contrasts this poignantly, memorably, and poetically with the endearing way she describes Tareq and his loving family. Several other characters are introduced. Alexia, an American on vacation in Greece, decides to stay in the country to help. Her story is an integral one as it merges with Tareq's arrival, though the thread ends somewhat abruptly. Overall, Abawi skillfully places humanity enmeshed in war into two sides: the "hunters" who feed on the suffering and the "helpers" who lend a hand. VERDICT An inspiring, timely, and must-have account about the Syrian refugee disaster and the perils of all wars; best supplemented with nonfiction information for research purposes.—Etta Anton, Yeshiva of Central Queens, NY

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.