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Refugee

Written by: Alan Gratz
Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, August 2017

This heart-wrencher of a tale chronicles three separate journeys of children experiencing what none should have to: fleeing a home that is no longer safe. We meet Josef, a Jewish boy leaving Germany in 1939 as he boards the ill-fated ocean liner St. Louis; Isabelle, who, along with her family, flees Cuba as a 1994 "rafter"; and Mahmoud, who departs Aleppo in 2015, bound for (and bringing us full circle) Germany. The stories, unfolding in alternating points of view, are benchmarked at the start of each chapter with a subhead: "xx days from home", demonstrating that from a kid's vantage point, "home", or lack of, is the only milestone that matters. The three accounts really took me to the heart of these historical moments in a way that news reports rarely do. —Emily, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

A tour de force from acclaimed author Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087), this timely and powerful novel tells the story of three different children seeking refuge.

Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world....

Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America....

Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe....

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers - from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.

Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087, Projekt 1065) delivers an action-packed novel that tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.

©2017 Alan Gratz (P)2017 Scholastic Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous story

We listened to this book on our road trip this past summer. My preteens and I loved the book. The stories are interesting and the subject is so current in today’s world.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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READ THIS BOOK

There aren't many books that I go out of my way to tell people about. But I talk about this one. I can't say enough about this book. I loved every moment. I would get to work, and still sit in the car so I could find out what happened next, or weep silently to myself at a heartbreaking moment.
This book tells of a story of several children, in different points in history all fleeing their home. I'm getting chills now just thinking about it.
I am also glad that I decided on the audio version over the print version. THere were multiple narrators, each with their own accents and inflections which added a great deal of depth to the story that I found really drew me in. I felt I was there. Although this is rated as a young adult/ teen book, I recommend it to anyone and everyone who will listen to me.
This is one of my most favorite books, and I plan on reading it to my child when he's older.
#Audible1

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Print text was better

I tried to listen and couldn't get into this book. Later, I read it in print and absolutely loved it. Perhaps the different perspectives make it harder to follow in audio, I'm not sure-- I would recommend the book, but just not in this format.

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Truth of refugee experience wonderfully told

A wonderfully written fictional story that weaves together actual experiences of real refugees. This is the first audio book I have ever listened to. That said I found the narration to be exceptional by those who read it.

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loved it

This book had such a great message and storyline. I loved it and will be recommending it to my friends.

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  • J
  • 2017-11-26

A great book

This book is great I cried at least four times so moving I loved it so much

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  • LJK
  • 2017-12-21

Intended for 5-8th graders, but it is good for adults too

Wonderfully read by three different actors, the individual stories of the plight of three refugee families in different decades is so compelling and actually really important--especially for children. The intensity of many of the horrific experiences of these people may be too much for some young people, but if they could deal with The Hunger Games, they would be ok with this. The historical accuracy was done well and the characters were compelling. The author packs in a great deal within a short book and it serves as an important statement about compassion in understanding the refugee experience.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2018-09-12

well done!

Really enjoyed all the readers and the story. I 2as glued to the story from the first few mins.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2018-06-06

Perfect

Voices were perfect. Story was perfect. Great Length, great meaning. I enjoyed listening to this so much, it was great. I am not exaggerating with a my perfect rating.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Catherine Lainys Simpson
  • 2017-08-23

awesome And enlightening

wow everything was perfect. I will share with all I can. thank you for sharing

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Brisell D. Gonzalez
  • 2019-01-16

Awesome book

This is a really good book. The only thing that I didn’t like was the readers though

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Em
  • 2017-08-16

A Kids'-Eye View of Fleeing Home

This heart-wrencher of a tale chronicles three separate journeys of children experiencing what none should have to: fleeing a home that is no longer safe. We meet Josef, a Jewish boy leaving Germany in 1939 as he boards the ill-fated ocean liner St. Louis; Isabelle, who, along with her family, flees Cuba as a 1994 rafter; and Mahmoud, who departs Aleppo in 2015, bound for (bringing us full circle) Germany. The stories, unfolding in alternating points of view, are benchmarked at the start of each chapter with a subhead: xx days from home, demonstrating that from a kids' vantage point, home - or lack of - is the only landmark that really matters.

The three accounts really took me into the heart of these historical moments in a way that news reports rarely do, each depicting a unique version of desperation, tragedy, and longing. But while I was on the edge-of-my-seat throughout, the ultimate conclusion is one of hope - that the sins of our collective past do in fact have the power to positively impact the choices we make in the future.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy Joanides
  • 2019-09-22

moving...

humanity, its good with its bad

well written and well performed

happy I read this

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kara
  • 2019-09-21

Everyone should read this book

While some parts are fiction, most of the three stories are based on fact, and proceeds from the sale of the book go to organizations to help refugees.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Brewer
  • 2019-09-15

Tears while Vacuuming

This book had my eyes full of tears as I was vacuuming and doing laundry, etc. My wife sees me and says what is wrong with you, you're just vacuuming. 😂😭 I was too choked up to be able to explain. All I could gulp out was, "this book!"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Heather
  • 2017-08-04

Well written and timely

Gratz knows how to tackle tough topics, and has done so in previous books. In Refugee, he intertwines three children's stories that span across decades but all speak to the incredible challenges of surviving a refugee experience. A compelling story for middle school students as an independent read, and I plan to read it aloud to my fifth grade class. It is intense and there is violence and death, so it may require conversations with any upper el reader who is interested. Overall, I think this is Gratz's best work to date, and all three narrators were skilled in their deliveries of the three main characters' stories.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful