A story of astonishing bravery!
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Published in 2010 by Groundwood Books
Young Adult for ages 12 and up/224 pages
Samira age 9, her older brother Benyamin, baby sister Maryam, and their parents are living in an Assyrian village in northern Iran. During the summer of 1918 they flee carrying only what they are able to carry hoping to travel to where the British refugee camp is located. The Turks have invaded their area of Iran, an area that Samira's people have lived for centuries. The Assyrians speak the Syriac language and they are members of the Orthodox Church. For many days they travel along with others escaping. They travel through harsh environment and extreme weather, they travel over the mountains, they hide from Turkish army troops. The journey is perilous and with dangers at every turn.
This event is a true part of history I'd not heard of. I feel ignorant of history in the middle east, having only read a few books on this subject. I hope to continue to read books on this subject, as well as to continue to read books on children of other cultures.
The perilous journey of Samira is harrowing, what she endured astounding. Beyond doubt Samira is the heroine in this story.
She is a character that inspires any age reader. She is mature and wise beyond her 9 years of age, and as she grows she continues to transform in to a person of integrity and astounding greatness.
The people that care for those in the refugee camps work tirelessly for the children.
The children often must leave one camp and go to another, yet the workers are as understanding and supportive as they can be.
While in the camps Samira is given responsibilities as all the older children have.
The functions of the camp are explored as well as the health care and education they are given.
This is a story of adventure, fortitude, and family love.
The story is based on true events and of the authors mother and aunt growing up in Iran.