Review of The Waiting Place: When Home Is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found

The Waiting Place: When Home Is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found The Waiting Place: When Home Is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found
by Dina Nayeri; photos by Anna Bosch Miralpeix
Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    64 pp.    g
5/22    978-1-5362-1362-1    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5362-1854-1    $18.99

“When home is lost and a new one not yet found, children are sent to the Waiting Place.” In this powerful photo-essay, the Waiting Place is the Katsikas refugee camp in Greece, which Nayeri and ­Miralpeix visited in 2018. Katsikas is supposed to be a temporary home for refugees from Afghanistan and Iran, but as Nayeri describes in her poetic text, the camp is a “gated mouth” that children pass through and then drift while time slips away. “They forget things: first their sums, their street names, their best books. Then beloved faces, stories.” Miralpeix’s photographs effectively set the “field of shipping crates turned into homes” against a contrasting background of blue skies and misty mountains, highlighting Katsikas’s harsh conditions. Nayeri personifies the Waiting Place as a beast hungry for more lives, and the strength of the volume is its focus on real children, including five-year-old Matin from Afghanistan, his friends Ahmad and Hashmat, and his ten-year-old sister Mobina and her friends. Both text and photos compassionately humanize young refugees who, despite coping with unimaginable trauma, have talents and dreams; readers will come away with a deeper understanding of the refugee crisis, which is addressed more fully in a lengthy afterword. A glossary and an author’s note are appended.

From the May/June 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Dean Schneider
Dean Schneider teaches seventh and eighth grades at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?