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Ripped From the Pages by Kate Carlisle
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Refugee: 12/25/17

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Refugee by Alan Gratz is a collection of three interrelated stories of refugees. There is Josef, a Jewish boy fleeing Germany at the start of World War II. There is Isabel, a Cuban girl leaving her home in 1994 during the riots and unrest. There is Mahmoud who is fleeing Syria for safety in Europe. The stories are interwoven, going in chronological order.

We get a chapter from Joseph's point of view. He, his sister, and his parents, are headed for Cuba on a ship. They hope to be let in but there's word that Cuba might close their border to future.

Then we get a chapter from Isabel. Like Joseph, she's on a boat. But she's fleeing Cuba with her pregnant mother, and her father. They want to get to the United States. They need to avoid the Coast Guard.

Finally we get a chapter from Mahmoud. He and his family are trying to drive out of Syria as the unrest heats up. They leave behind their home and face danger and death on the road.

Individually each child's tale could stand alone as a separate, compelling novels. Piecing together how they are related beyond the obvious fact that they are all refugees is a big part of what takes this book to the next level.

Four stars

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