When Stars Are Scattered Paperback – Illustrated, April 14, 2020
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National Book Award Finalist
Schneider Family Book Award, Middle School Honor
YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens
YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Nominee
Walter Award Winner (Younger Readers)
Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2020
New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book
TIME Best Book of the Year
School Library Journal Best Book of 2020
Kirkus Best Children’s Book of 2020
NYPL Best Book for Kids
NPR's Book Concierge Pick
Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist
Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book
2021 ALSC Notable Children’s Books List
2021 Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book
2021 Josette Frank Award Winner
2021 Notable Books for a Global Society List
★ "Jamieson's characteristically endearing art, warmly colored by Geddy, perfectly complements Omar's story, conjuring memorable and sympathetic characters who will stay with readers long after they close the book . . . This engaging, heartwarming story does everything one can ask of a book, and then some.” —Kirkus, starred review
★ "With this sensitive and poignant tale, Jamieson and Mohamed express the power of the human spirit to persevere." —School Library Journal, starred review
★ "Tragedy is certainly present throughout the story, yet Mohamed and Jamieson’s focus on deep familial love and education works to subvert many refugee stereotypes." —Horn Book, starred review
★ "Mohamed's experience is unfortunately not unique, but it is told with grace, humility, and forgiveness. This beautiful memoir is not to be missed." —Booklist, starred review
★ "Jamieson and Mohamed together craft a cohesive, winding story that balances daily life and boredom, past traumas, and unforeseen outcomes alongside camp denizens’ ingenuity and community . . . colorist Iman Geddy’s deep purple skies drive home the title. The result of this team effort is a personal and poignant entry point for young readers trying to understand an unfair world." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ "The graphic novel presentation and first person narration from the young narrator creates an immediacy and connection with the events of the story. Readers are quickly drawn into Omar’s world and worry for him and his friends." —School Library Connection
"Over the next fifteen years chronicled in this moving, slightly fictionalized graphic novel, the boys grow to manhood in an overcrowded tent city . . . Jamieson’s artwork, affectionately depicting resilient kids who manage to carve out lives in a community with few solid prospects, reprises the inviting ebullience readers will recognize from Roller Girl and All’s Faire." —BCCB
YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
About the Author
Omar Mohamed is co-creator of the National Book Award finalist When Stars Are Scattered, based on his childhood growing up in the Dadaab refugee camp, after his father was killed and he was separated from his mother in Somalia. He devoted everything to taking care of his younger brother, Hassan, and to pursuing his education. He now lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with his wife and five children, and is the founder of Refugee Strong, a non-profit organization that empowers students living in refugee camps.
Iman Geddy, the colorist for this book, is an Atlanta-based designer and illustrator who is passionate about using the graphic arts for social good. Inspired by the geometric harmony of Islamic architecture as well as the colorful equatorial landscapes of eastern Africa, she creates striking art that highlights the beauty of the world around us.
- Publisher : Dial Books; Illustrated edition (April 14, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 264 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525553908
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525553908
- Reading age : 9 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : GN530L
- Grade level : 4 - 7
- Item Weight : 1.26 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.56 x 0.97 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Omar and his brother have been living in a refugee camp in Kenya for seven years when our book opens. Along with thousands of others, they’ve fled Somalia when war broke out in their country. The details surrounding how they ended up in the camp come later in the book, and I am not going to spoil them for you. They’re cared for by Fatuma, who is a sort of foster mom for them, and Omar does a lot of the work that needs to be done to keep the three of them alive.
One of the most memorable things for me from early in the book was the fact that they didn’t have something as simple as a real soccer ball. Instead the children in the camp gathered up plastic bags and fashioned them into a ball like shape so they would have something to play with.
We get to see and experience Omar’s reservations about deciding to attend school rather than take care of his brother. Making the decision was hard for Omar and anyone who has had to make a difficult decision and weigh the potential pros and cons of a situation will be able to appreciate his struggle.
Omar has to fight against so many things at such a young age and while being responsible for his brother. It’s inspiring to anyone who feels like just getting through the day is difficult. It’s such a great book for anyone who needs a reminder that they’re not alone in their struggle to find a reason to move forward, to reach for something that might be just out of reach, or to hope for a better future.
Top reviews from other countries
This book opened my eyes to something I knew nothing about and it was so well written - the graphic novel format made it really accessible. Highly highly recommended.