Review of In Search of Safety: Voices of Refugees

In Search of Safety: Voices of Refugees
by Susan Kuklin; photos by the author
Middle School, High School    Candlewick    246 pp.    g
5/20    978-0-7636-7960-6    $24.99

Hewing to a definition of refugees as “people who are forced to leave their country because they are being persecuted,” Kuklin profiles five such young adults: Fraidoon/Fred from Afghanistan; Hei Blut/Nathan from Myanmar; Nyarout from South Sudan; Shireen from Iraq; and Dieudonné from Burundi. Their common bond is Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, “one of the most successful resettlement programs in the country,” which sponsored or cared for each of these intrepid survivors. While each lengthy profile — told in the first person and illustrated with Kuklin’s full-color photographs — covers the expanse of each subject’s story, Kuklin chooses one or another stage of the journey to highlight, from the red tape Fraidoon encountered despite his work as a translator for the American forces fighting the Taliban, to the slavery endured by Shireen, a Yazidi, at the hands of ISIS. The circumstances of all five refugees were perilous and frightening; their tenacity and courage (and even humor) are salutary. An exemplary appendix of notes and resources broadens the impact of the individual accounts; the accounts themselves personalize the crisis and statistics. Index not seen.

From the May/June 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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