Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Escape from Aleppo

Escape from Aleppo

Spring 2018 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: N. H. Senzai
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781481472173
Hardcover Price: $16.99

The headlines from Syria come almost daily —bombings, refugees, lethal chemical weapons, dozens found dead. It's easy to ignore bad things happening far away.

Escape from Aleppo tells a story of a young girl, Nadia, whose family is forced to leave their home in Syria as their city is torn apart by civil war, a rebel uprising and government tyranny.

It's 2013 and 15-year-old Nadia is curled up in bed with her cat, Mishmish. Nadia's cousin wakes her to tell her the family must leave as the boom of an explosion from a barmeela, a shrapnel-packed bomb dropped by a helicopter, can be heard nearby. But before getting out of their building, a the roof blows apart and Nadia gets trapped under rubble. Her family, moving quickly to escape, goes on without her.

Despite brief flashbacks, most of the story takes place over four long days in October of 2013, as Nadia, with only a backpack and her cat, must navigate Aleppo and find her way to the Turkish border where she desperately hopes her family will be waiting for her.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2018 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, assistant director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, began her career at The Washington Post and went on to spend more than two decades with USA Today, where she covered pop culture topics. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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