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F.A. Day Library: People Seeking Safe Refuge

People seeking safe refuge

Fiction

Refugee

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. 

A Land of Permanent Goodbyes

A powerful novel of refugees escaping from war-torn Syria, masterfully told by a journalist who witnessed the crisis firsthand. In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family...until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. And those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future. Tareq's family knows that to continue to stay alive, they must leave. As they travel as refugees from Syria to Turkey to Greece, facing danger at every turn, Tareq must find the resilience and courage to complete his harrowing journey. While this is one family's story, it is also the timeless tale of the heartbreaking consequences of all wars, all tragedy, narrated by Destiny itself. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss.

The Lines We Cross

A remarkable story about the power of tolerance from one of the most important voices in contemporary Muslim literature, critically acclaimed author Randa Abdel-Fattah.Michael likes to hang out with his friends and play with the latest graphic design software. His parents drag him to rallies held by their anti-immigrant group, which rails against the tide of refugees flooding the country. And it all makes sense to Michael.Until Mina, a beautiful girl from the other side of the protest lines, shows up at his school, and turns out to be funny, smart -- and a Muslim refugee from Afghanistan. Suddenly, his parents' politics seem much more complicated.Mina has had a long and dangerous journey fleeing her besieged home in Afghanistan, and now faces a frigid reception at her new prep school, where she is on scholarship. As tensions rise, lines are drawn. Michael has to decide where he stands. Mina has to protect herself and her family. Both have to choose what they want their world to look like.

Home of the Brave

Kek comes from Africa. In America he sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He's never walked on ice, and he falls. He wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter - cold and unkind. In Africa, Kek lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived, and now she's missing. Kek is on his own. Slowly, he makes friends: a girl who is in foster care; an old woman who owns a rundown farm, and a cow whose name means "family" in Kek's native language. As Kek awaits word of his mother's fate, he weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his new friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.

Lost Girl Found

For Poni, life in her small village in southern Sudan is simple and complicated at the same time. Stay in school. Beat up any boy who tries to show attention. Watch out for the dangers in the river. But then the war comes. And when soldiers arrive in her village and bombs begin to rain from the sky, there is only one thing for Poni to do. Run. Poni runs for her life, and alongside thousands of refugees, she must then make a long, dusty trek across the east African countryside. Driven by the sheer will to survive, Poni finds her way to the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, where she hopes to be reunited with her family. And if she is lucky, she will one day be able to convince the authorities that she is worthy to go to the land of opportunity. But the misery in Kakuma is almost overwhelming, and sooner than Poni could have imagined, she is on the run again. With single-minded determination, Poni survives hell and back, but she cannot escape the war's devastating psychological effects or her survivor's guilt. In a heartbreaking final twist, Poni finds her mother just as she is about to leave for America--forcing her to make the hardest decision of all.

Letters from Cuba

The situation is getting dire for Jews in Poland on the eve of World War II. Esther's father has fled to Cuba, and she is the first one to join him. It's heartbreaking to be separated from her beloved sister, so Esther promises to write down everything that happens until they're reunited. And she does, recording both the good--the kindness of the Cuban people and her discovery of a valuable hidden talent--and the bad: the fact that Nazism has found a foothold even in Cuba. Esther's evocative letters are full of her appreciation for life and reveal a resourceful, determined girl with a rare ability to bring people together, all the while striving to get the rest of their family out of Poland before it's too late.

Along the Tracks

Based on a true story, Along the Tracks tells the tale of Yankele, a Polish boy who is separated from his mother during the German invasion of Poland in World War II.

Storm Blown

A little rain and wind don't worry Alejo--they're just part of life at the beach. As his padrino says, as long as there are birds in the waves, it's safe. When people start evacuating, though, Alejo realizes things might be worse than he thought. And they are. A hurricane is headed straight for Puerto Rico. Emily's brother, Elliot, has been really sick. He can't go outside their New Orleans home, so Emily decides to have an adventure for him. She's on a secret mission to the tiny island Elliot loves. She's not expecting to meet up with an injured goose or a shy turtle. And nothing has prepared her for Megastorm Valerie. Soon Alejo and Emily will be in Valerie's deadly path. Who will survive?

Lily's Crossing

During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily's friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world differently.

The Night Diary

It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries- Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can't imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.

Brother's Keeper

North Korea. December, 1950. Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live under an iron set of rules- No travel without a permit. No criticism of the government. No absences from Communist meetings. Wear red. Hang pictures of the Great Leader. Don't trust your neighbors. Don't speak your mind. You are being watched. But war is coming, war between North and South Korea, between the Soviets and the Americans. War causes chaos--and war is the perfect time to escape. The plan is simple- Sora and her family will walk hundreds of miles to the South Korean city of Busan from their tiny mountain village. They just need to avoid napalm, frostbite, border guards, and enemy soldiers. But they can't. And when an incendiary bombing changes everything, Sora and her little brother Young will have to get to Busan on their own. Can a twelve-year-old girl and her eight-year-old brother survive three hundred miles of warzone in winter?

We Are Not from Here

Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they''ve grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life--if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go. In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope.

Illegal

Ebo's sister left months ago. Now his brother has disappeared too, and Ebo knows that, to see them again, he must follow in their footsteps and make the hazardous voyage from Ghana to a safe haven in Europe. So the twelve-year-old sets off on an epic journey that takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli and finally out to the merciless sea. Powerful and timely, this novel brings to life Ebo's unquenchable hope for a new life in the face of daunting and perilous obstacles.

The Other Side of the Wall

Simon Schwartz was born in 1982 in East Germany, at a time when the repressive Socialist Unity Party of Germany controlled the area. Shortly before Simon's birth, his parents decided to leave their home in search of greater freedoms on the other side of the Berlin Wall. But East German authorities did not allow the Schwartzes to leave for almost three years. In the meantime, Simon's parents struggled with the costs of their decision: the loss of work, the attention of the East German secret police, and the fragmentation of their family. In his debut graphic novel, Simon Schwartz tells the true story of his parents' coming of age in East Germany, their rejection of the communist way of life, and the challenges of leaving that world behind.

Nowhere Boy

Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey. Now Ahmed's struggling to get by on his own, but with no one left to trust and nowhere to go, he's starting to lose hope. Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is struggling at his new school and just can't seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed's lives collide and a friendship begins to grow. Together, Max and Ahmed will defy the odds, learning from each other what it means to be brave and how hope can change your destiny.

Year of No Rain

In the spring of 1999, hunger and thirst are constant companions to 11-year-old Stephen and his family and friends in their southern Sudan village. Stephen wants to go back to his books, but the village school is closed due to civil war between the northern soldiers and the southern rebels. When bombs explode in their small village, Stephen's mother tells him and his friends to quickly pack, and they run and hide before they're caught by the enemy soldiers. Stephen leaves with a few precious possessions, wondering if each step will bring him closer to water, food, and freedom -and maybe home again someday.

Hitler's Secret

Otto and Leni thought they were safe: They escaped -- barely -- from war-torn Europe and are living as refugees in England. But now the Crown has recruited them: Great Britain wants them to go back. As spies! Dropped behind enemy lines, Otto and Leni embark on a top-secret operation. Code name: Wolfsangel. Their mission? Capture the one person who can defeat the ultimate evil of Nazism! Der Fuhrer has destroyed Otto's and Leni's families, but what if the tables were turned? What if Hitler's ultimate legacy was in their hands?

A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours' walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya's in an astonishing and moving way.

Bamboo People

Chiko isn't a fighter by nature. He's a book-loving Burmese boy whose father, a doctor, is in prison for resisting the government. Tu Reh, on the other hand, wants to fight for freedom after watching Burmese soldiers destroy his Karenni family's home and bamboo fields. When Chiko is forced into the Burmese army and subsequently injured on a mission, the boys' lives intersect. Timidity becomes courage and anger becomes compassion as both boys discover that everything is not as it seems.

The Red Pencil

Life in Amira's peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind -- and all kinds of possibilities.

Salt to the Sea

Winter 1945. WWII. Four refugees. Four stories. Each one born of a different homel∧ each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies, war. As thousands desperately flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. But not all promises can be kept . . .

Under the Persimmon Tree

Najmah, a young Afghan girl whose name means "star," suddenly finds herself alone when her father and older brother are conscripted by the Taliban and her mother and newborn brother are killed in an air raid. An American woman, Elaine, whose Islamic name is Nusrat, is also on her own. She waits out the war in Peshawar, Pakistan, teaching refugee children under the persimmon tree in her garden while her Afghan doctor husband runs a clinic in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan. Najmah's father had always assured her that the stars would take care of her, just as Nusrat's husband had promised that they would tell Nusrat where he was and that he was safe. As the two look to the skies for answers, their fates entwine. Najmah, seeking refuge and hoping to find her father and brother, begins the perilous journey through the mountains to cross the border into Pakistan. And Nusrat's persimmon-tree school awaits Najmah's arrival. Together, they both seek their way home.

My Family for the War

Ten-year-old Franziska escapes Nazi Germany on the kindertransport; when she arrives in London she takes on the name Frances and struggles to piece together a new life without her family.

My Brother, My Sister, and I

The author of the critically acclaimed SO FAR FROM THE BAMBOO GROVE continues her autobiography, describing the hardships, poverty, tragedies, and struggles of life for her and her two older siblings, living as refugees in post-World War II Japan.

The Milk of Birds

Fifteen-year-old Nawra lives in Darfur, Sudan, in a camp for refugees displaced by the Janjaweed's trail of murder and destruction. Nawra cannot read or write, but when a nonprofit organization called Save the Girls pairs her with an American donor, Nawra dictates her thank-you letters. Putting her experiences into words begins to free her from her devastating past--and to brighten the path to her future. K.C. is an American teenager from Richmond, Virginia, who hates reading and writing--or anything that smacks of school. But as Nawra pours grief and joy into her letters, she inspires K.C. to see beyond her own struggles. And as K.C. opens her heart in her responses to Nawra, she becomes both a dedicated friend and a passionate activist for Darfur.

Other Words for Home

Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven't quite prepared her for starting school in the US--and her new label of "Middle Eastern," an identity she's never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises--there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

Nonfiction/Biography

Returning to Guatemala

Martinez longs for the happy, stable home he had in Guatemala--before gang violence forced them to flee to Mexico. And now, he is being uprooted again. His mother has decided they must return to Guatemala to take care of the extended family. Martinez is scared to return--but the love of his family and support of his new rural community in Guatemala gives him hope for a future without violence. Paired with facts about the instability in Guatemala and the experience of displaced persons there, Martinez's story offers a unique look at the fear--and resilience--refugees experience when they must return home.

My New Home after Yemen

After fleeing civil war in Yemen, Sahar knows that she and her family are lucky to have escaped the violence and survived the trip to Toronto, Canada. Although she still has nightmares about bombings and losing her baby brother--Sahar cannot believe how quickly her English is improving, and how much fun she had trick-or-treating on Halloween for the first time. Paired with facts about the current situation in Yemen and how different countries work to welcome and support refugees, Sahar's story gives insight on a refugee's life in a new country.

Hoping for a Home after Myanmar

Syed was forced to flee his homeland of Myanmar because of extreme violence and persecution against the Rohingya minority. After traveling by boat to Malaysia to meet up with his brother, Nazir, Syed must survive "underground" in a country in which he is not welcome. Interwoven with facts about the Rohingya humanitarian crisis and how refugees survive in countries such as Malaysia, Syed's story sheds light on the plight of Rohingya refugees around the world.

We Are Displaced

In her powerful new book, Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Malala Yousafzai introduces some of the people behind the statistics and news stories about the millions of people displaced worldwide.

Outcasts United

This young people's version of the adult bestseller, Outcasts United- An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference, is a complex and inspirational story about the Fugees, a youth soccer team made up of diverse refugees from around the world, and their formidable female coach, Luma Mufleh. Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical southern town until it became a refugee resettlement center. The author explores how the community changed with the influx of refugees and how the dedication of Lumah Mufleh and the entire Fugees soccer team inspired an entire community.

The Other Side of the Sky

Farah Ahmedi, the victim of a land mine when she was twelve years old, tells about growing up in Afghanistan, the challenge of losing her leg, and the difficulty in adapting to life in the United States.

Tasting the Sky

The author describes her childhood as a Palestinian refugee, discussing her family's experiences during and after the Six-Day War, and the freedom she felt at learning to read and write.

Alive in the Killing Fields

Alive in the Killing Fields is the real-life memoir of Nawuth Keat, a man who survived the horrors of war-torn Cambodia. He has now broken a longtime silence in the hope that telling the truth about what happened to his people and his country will spare future generations from similar tragedy.In this captivating memoir, a young Nawuth defies the odds and survives the invasion of his homeland by the Khmer Rouge. Under the brutal reign of the dictator Pol Pot, he loses his parents, young sister, and other members of his family. After his hometown of Salatrave was overrun, Nawuth and his remaining relatives are eventually captured and enslaved by Khmer Rouge fighters. They endure physical abuse, hunger, and inhumane living conditions. But through it all, their sense of family holds them together, giving them the strength to persevere through a time when any assertion of identity is punishable by death.Nawuth's story of survival and escape from the Killing Fields of Cambodia is also a message of hope; an inspiration to children whose worlds have been darkened by hardship and separation from loved ones. This story provides a timeless lesson in the value of human dignity and freedom for readers of all ages.

When Stars Are Scattered

A National Book Award Finalist, this remarkable graphic novel is about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl. Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day. Heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting, and a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult of settings. It's an intimate, important, unforgettable look at the day-to-day life of a refugee, as told to New York Times Bestselling author/artist Victoria Jamieson by Omar Mohamed, the Somali man who lived the story.

How Dare the Sun Rise

Sandra was just ten years old when she found herself with a gun pointed at her head. She had watched as rebels gunned down her mother and six-year-old sister in a refugee camp. Remarkably, the rebel didn't pull the trigger, and Sandra escaped. Thus began a new life for her and her surviving family members. With no home and no money, they struggled to stay alive. Eventually, through a United Nations refugee program, they moved to America, only to face yet another ethnic disconnect. Sandra may have crossed an ocean, but there was now a much wider divide she had to overcome. And it started with middle school in New York. In this memoir, Sandra tells the story of her survival, of finding her place in a new country, of her hope for the future, and how she found a way to give voice to her people.

F.A. Day Middle School Library
21 Minot Pl., Newton, MA 02460 / 617-559-9139