Some of the books address the Islamic State and the ongoing wars between the Shias and Sunnis. The protagonist feature young Muslim refugees and their plight in coping with a war-torn environment.
I have chosen two books to highlight:
Refugee, Alan Gratz’s middle-grade novel focuses on a 12-year-old boy named Mahmoud Bishara. He and his family flee the violence in Aleppo after his family’s home is destroyed. They have to contend with smugglers and militants as his family charts a treacherous course through Turkey and across the Mediterranean to Europe. His younger brother, Waleed — based on Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy whose shell-shocked photo was seen around the world after the bombing — is too traumatized to even cry.
Suzanne Del Rizzo’s picture book My Beautiful Birds is based on an article she read about a Syrian boy living in Jordan in the Zaatari refugee camp. He tamed wild birds. In her book, Sami is a boy who trains pigeons and must leave his birds behind when his family evacuates from their home in Syria and walks to a refugee camp in Jordan. There, he finds solace in caring for wild birds.
We, as fellow citizens of this small planet, must care for one another, be respectful of others' differences as well as similarities, and remember that we are on this journey together. Only then can we achieve peace in this world.