This is a timely and riveting story of the friendship between a young Syrian refugee alone in Brussels, and a white American boy struggling to adjust to life in a new country.
Fourteen-year-old Ahmed has lost his entire family. Stranded and scared, he is far from everything familiar, and surrounded by people fearful of Muslim immigrants. He finds a hiding place in the basement of the home of thirteen-year-old Max, who has problems of his own; his family has just moved to Brussels from Washington, D.C., and he feels hopeless and alone in his new environment. The story of how the boys’ friendship grows and the ways in which they help each other is beautifully told and powerfully resonant.
Ahmed and Max’s story parallels that of a resident of the same street in Brussels who hid an orphaned Jewish refugee during World War II. This true story is revisited throughout the book.
Nowhere Boy is in turns despairing, exhilarating, hopeful, and suspenseful — and ultimately uplifting. The writing is first-rate.
Leslie Kimmelman grew up outside Philadelphia and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont. She is the author of many children’s books, awards for which include Best Children’s Books of the Year from the Bank Street College of Education; Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies; and Sydney Taylor Notable Books. Kimmelman is an editor at Sesame Workshop and lives with her family just north of New York City.