Escape from Aleppo
Nadia’s family is forced to flee their home in Aleppo, Syria, when the Arab Spring sparks a civil war in this timely coming-of-age novel from award-winning author N.H. Senzai.Silver and gold balloons. A birthday cake covered in pink roses. A new dress. Nadia stands at the center of attention in her parents’ elegant dining room. This is the best day of my life, she thinks. Everyone is about to sing “Happy Birthday,” when her uncle calls from the living room, “Baba, brothers, you need to see this.” Reluctantly, she follows her family into the other room. On TV, a reporter stands near an overturned vegetable cart on a dusty street. Beside it is a mound of smoldering ashes. The reporter explains that a vegetable vendor in the city of Tunis burned himself alive, protesting corrupt government officials who have been harassing his business. Nadia frowns.It is December 17, 2010: Nadia’s twelfth birthday and the beginning of the Arab Spring. Soon anti-government protests erupt across the Middle East and, one by one, countries are thrown into turmoil. As civil war flares in Syria and bombs fall across Nadia’s home city of Aleppo, her family decides to flee to safety. Inspired by current events, this novel sheds light on the complicated situation in Syria that has led to an international refugee crisis, and tells the story of one girl’s journey to safety.

Escape from Aleppo Details

TitleEscape from Aleppo
Author
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherPaula Wiseman Books
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Historical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction, War

Escape from Aleppo Review

  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the author.Nadia and her family live in an apartment building in Aleppo, Syria, so her aunts and uncles, and well as her grandmother, are all close by. When their neighborhood is being bombed in October of 2013, they have a plan to leave and head toward the Turkish border to meet Nadia's father. With the help of her older cousin, Razan, Nadia packs up her cat, Mishmish, and prepares to leave. Since being caught and injured in a bombing earlier, however, Nadia is very fearful of b ARC provided by the author.Nadia and her family live in an apartment building in Aleppo, Syria, so her aunts and uncles, and well as her grandmother, are all close by. When their neighborhood is being bombed in October of 2013, they have a plan to leave and head toward the Turkish border to meet Nadia's father. With the help of her older cousin, Razan, Nadia packs up her cat, Mishmish, and prepares to leave. Since being caught and injured in a bombing earlier, however, Nadia is very fearful of being outside, and her hesitancy Causes the family to be caught in a direct hit of their building. Nadia is not badly injured, but is trapped in the rubble, and her family leaves her, assuming that she has perished. When she finally emerges, Nadia tries to follow the agreed upon route to a dental clinic, but the landscape of her neighborhood is barely recognizable. Along the way, her cat reappears, and she is fortunate enough to meet an elderly man, Ammo Mazen, making his way across the town. He agrees to help her, applies ointment to her wounds, and listens to her story. The two don't find Nadia's family, but they find two boys who were being helped by a friend of Mazen's. Basel, who is eight and looking for his grandfather, leaves with them, but Tarek decides to stay behind. Mazen must visit lots of contacts on their way out of Aleppo, and Nadia, after snooping through his wagon and overhearing conversations, discovers that he is finding a preserving rare books and artifacts that would otherwise be destroyed in the war. Mazen's health is not good, but the small group, which Tarek eventually rejoins, makes their way towards Turkey. Mazen's health is not good, and the journey is arduous, so he stays at a small town near the border while the children make the final leg of their journey, hoping to be reunited with Nadia's family. This is a timely and important story that will help young readers understand what is going on in Syria, and grasp why their are so many people who have been displaced. Since a story is only illuminative if children read it, Senzai adds many vivid details that will draw readers into Nadia's experience. In the first part of the book, Nadia flashes back to more pleasant times of her life. We see her enjoying a birthday party, celebrating with her family, and relishing small pleasures, like polishing her fingernails or playing with her cat. For reasons I don't understand, my students don't quite grasp that children in other countries live lives very similar to their own until wars or other tragedies disrupt them. These details of Nadia's life before the bombing of her apartment building goes a long way to investing readers in her life. As Nadia travels across the city, Senzai does a fantastic job of describing both the shops and streets before the war, colored with Nadia's experiences in various places, and contrasting that with the devastation that has occurred. Details about the history of the conflict and of Ammo Mazen's past alternate with the grim present that include soldiers, snipers, and bands of teenagers out looking for any supplies they can steal. This makes the story both informative and exciting, and sweeps us along in Nadia's journey to Turkey. As Nadia's fear turns to grim determination, we also see how the war is affecting young Basel and Tarek. Ammo Mazen is a huge help to the group despite his somewhat suspect past, and his ill health makes his devotion to getting the children to a safe place all the more touching. While Gratz's recent Refugee has the story of a family escaping a similar situation in Syria, Escape from Aleppo will appeal to readers who wonder how they would survive in a war-torn environment, but like this author's riveting Ticket to India, showcases young people trying to survive such trials without the support of their families. When I was a tween, I was fascinated by stories of children my age during the Holocaust or on the Oregon Trail because they were pulse pounding and exciting, but reading about these experiences also made me appreciate the hardships of others. Escape from Aleppo is a must-read middle grade novel for understanding the evolution of the current political environment in the troubled country of Syria.
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  • Adriyanna Zimmermann
    January 1, 1970
    Not sure why this book has 1 & 2 star ratings already but two can play this game.
  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    January 1, 1970
    Nadia is a typical pre-teen---enjoying spending time with her friends and family, delighted about being selected to appear in a tv commercial, celebrating her twelfth birthday---and then she is not. Suddenly, a man appears on tv and sets himself on fire, and Syria is at war, and Nadia's world becomes a world of bombings and soldiers and fear. Her family decides they must escape to a safer place, and Nadia unexpectedly gets separated from them and must make her own way out of the turbulent city, Nadia is a typical pre-teen---enjoying spending time with her friends and family, delighted about being selected to appear in a tv commercial, celebrating her twelfth birthday---and then she is not. Suddenly, a man appears on tv and sets himself on fire, and Syria is at war, and Nadia's world becomes a world of bombings and soldiers and fear. Her family decides they must escape to a safer place, and Nadia unexpectedly gets separated from them and must make her own way out of the turbulent city, Aleppo, she has called home all her life.This is an important story for children, both those who have lived through these horrors and those who have only heard of such events through the media.
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  • Beth Honeycutt
    January 1, 1970
    What an amazing and sad and important book! I was entranced by Nadia’s story, and I learned more about the events in Syria than I’d known before. I feel so lucky that I was able to meet the author and get an ARC of the book for my class.
  • Alex Baugh
    January 1, 1970
    It’s October 2013 and explosions from barmeela, bombs packed with shrapnel, are being dropped from helicopters by the Syrian army on Aleppo’s Salaheddine neighborhood where Nadia Jandali, 14, lives with her family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins. It’s time carry out their plan to leave the civil-war torn city and head for the Turkish border. But before they even get out of the parking lot, their apartment building is hit. Nadia, caught on the stairs, is knocked unconscious and buried under It’s October 2013 and explosions from barmeela, bombs packed with shrapnel, are being dropped from helicopters by the Syrian army on Aleppo’s Salaheddine neighborhood where Nadia Jandali, 14, lives with her family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins. It’s time carry out their plan to leave the civil-war torn city and head for the Turkish border. But before they even get out of the parking lot, their apartment building is hit. Nadia, caught on the stairs, is knocked unconscious and buried under debris, so when her cousin Malik looks for her, he doesn’t find her.Waking up later, Nadia realizes her family has left and decides to go to the dental clinic where they had agreed to head to. But it’s a long way, and the streets are unsafe. After walking for hours and getting lost, Nadia takes shelter in a destroyed pharmacy where she meets Ammo Mazan, a frail old man traveling with a cart and a donkey named Jamila. He offers to take her to the dental clinic, though Nadia isn’t sure if she should trust him. Taking detours around the bombed out city, Nadia and Ammo Mazen finally reach the clinic, only to find it deserted. A note left for her there says her father will wait for Nadia at the Oncupinar border crossing between Syria and Turkey, and Ammo Mazen agrees to take Nadia to the border. Looking for shelter that will accommodate the cart and Jamila, the two make their way to an orphanage, where they find two young boys. After resting, they leave and the youngest boy, Basel, 8, goes with them, though Tarek, 15, decides to remain behind, waiting for the mother who gave him up.As they travel north towards the Turkish border, Ammo Mazen makes various stops which reveal the kind of covert activities he has been up to even as his health continually begins to fail him. Eventually, Tarek rejoins the group. As their journey becomes more and more difficult due to the physical destruction of the country from constant bombing and shelling and the different warring factions found everywhere, Ammo Mazen’s health gets worse and worse, finally leaving him unconscious most of the time, and leaving the children to their own devices. Eventually, he must be left in the care of a healer, while the children, along with Jamila and the cart, make their way to the Oncupinar border crossing. And though Nadia does see her father on the other side, I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to Basel, Tarek, and Jamila now.Escape from Aleppo is a book I wanted to read from the moment I first read about it and it is a fascinating story. Told in the third person from Nadia’s point of view, readers learn about what is happening in Syria from her, as she eavesdrops on the conversations of the adults around her, and begins to pay more attention to current events on television. She must also deal with some serious PTDS issues, afraid to leave her home after an earlier bombing incident that left her with a painful scar on one of her legs.I paid close attention to what was happening in the Middle East once the Arab Spring began, and I think Senzai does an incredible job of folding in the history of those days, the later Syrian Civil War with the life of a young Syrian girl that time. Using strategically placed flashbacks, Nadia is at first shown to be a typical tween, more interested in watching Arab Idol on TV than she is in school, a girl who fixes her nail polish at the first sign of a chip. Yet, as she recalls her life and family, she begins to develop a new appreciation for them. And as Nadia travels through the now destroyed Aleppo and surrounding areas, she continually calls up memories of places she visited with family in happier times - the Palmyra Boulangerie, dress shops, mosques, the extensive world-famous 1,300 year old souq, the massive Citadel where her family picnicked - now all damaged, completely destroyed, and/or occupied, making Nadia aware that she not only has (hopefully just temporarily) lost her family, but has also lost the cultural and intellectual artifact's of her beloved country’s long history. Escape from Aleppo is so much more than a coming of age story. At first, impatient with Ammo Mazen’s slowness and the necessary stops he must make, Nadia develops into a more compassionate, more take charge young lady able to comfort Basel with tales from an ancient copy of Alef Layla (One Thousand and One Nights), and to put Ammo Mazen’s needs over her own desires to get to Turkey, all over the course of just a few days, but a lifetime of experience. Thus, Escape from Aleppo is a story about empathy, hope, kindness and survival in the midst of war, as well as a harsh reminder of how quickly lives and history can be changed by those in power with an agenda.This book is recommended for readers age 9+
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  • Cristen
    January 1, 1970
    This riveting tale follows a girl hoping to make her way out of war-torn Syria. I particularly appreciated the references to the area's history. The author deftly handled the youth perspective of the conflict's beginnings.
  • Jen Naughton
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, my heart. Aleppo and all of Syria has faded from the US newscasts, and that is bordering on criminal when you dive into the situation there. Nadia and her family live in an Aleppo and are attempting to leave the country as the war near them escalates. As they are going Nadia is frozen in anxiety and fear as she sees the helicopters approaching and gets trapped as her building gets blown up around her. Her family hopes that she is just stuck in the rubble and moves on for the safety of the gr Oh, my heart. Aleppo and all of Syria has faded from the US newscasts, and that is bordering on criminal when you dive into the situation there. Nadia and her family live in an Aleppo and are attempting to leave the country as the war near them escalates. As they are going Nadia is frozen in anxiety and fear as she sees the helicopters approaching and gets trapped as her building gets blown up around her. Her family hopes that she is just stuck in the rubble and moves on for the safety of the group. They leave a note for her at their designated meeting place with further directions of how she can meet up with them.The story flashes back just a few years and gives the reader glimpses into the fact that Nadia and her family are just like Americans. They have Facebook and Twitter where they monitor current events and try to make sense of what is happening around them. Nadia has a great birthday party and watches Arab Idol. Flash forward to the present and Nadia is forced to make her way across a war zone with the help of an old, ill man and two boys that she meets along the way. Although they are in constant danger they are resourceful and there is a happy ending. Verdict- BuyI received a DRC from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kris
    January 1, 1970
    Outstanding! I felt like I was there alongside Nadia and her frightening journey. The characters are well developed and I feel that I have a deeper understanding of the situation in Syria. This is a must read for early 2018.
  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    Senzai mixes little snippets of history, facts about the conflict in Aleppo, and the history of Nadia all together. It is this amazingly cohesive mixture that rolls off your tongue. Let me just stop this review to say, if you're looking for profound touching MG books with rich characters stop what you're reading and go get this book. It is a wonderful historical fiction that not only sheds light on the history but also on ourselves. Nadia, and all the other characters around her, are really fant Senzai mixes little snippets of history, facts about the conflict in Aleppo, and the history of Nadia all together. It is this amazingly cohesive mixture that rolls off your tongue. Let me just stop this review to say, if you're looking for profound touching MG books with rich characters stop what you're reading and go get this book. It is a wonderful historical fiction that not only sheds light on the history but also on ourselves. Nadia, and all the other characters around her, are really fantastic. I fell in love with each and every single one of them.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
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  • Laura Mossa
    January 1, 1970
    In 2010, Nadia is overjoyed to be starring in a local commercial, loves watching her favorite singers on Arab Idol, and is meticulous about her polished nails. But on the day of her twelfth birthday party, Nadia’s world changes due to the start of Arab Spring, a wave of pro-democracy protests and uprisings that take place in the Middle East and North Africa.Flash forward to 2013. In the middle of the night, Nadia is awoken by her older cousin Razan and told they are leaving their home in Syria. In 2010, Nadia is overjoyed to be starring in a local commercial, loves watching her favorite singers on Arab Idol, and is meticulous about her polished nails. But on the day of her twelfth birthday party, Nadia’s world changes due to the start of Arab Spring, a wave of pro-democracy protests and uprisings that take place in the Middle East and North Africa.Flash forward to 2013. In the middle of the night, Nadia is awoken by her older cousin Razan and told they are leaving their home in Syria. As her family is leaving their apartment building, Nadia hears the sound of helicopters. The force of an explosion sends Nadia tumbling down steps causing her to hit her forehead against a Jeep bumper. Fortunately, Nadia is able to crawl under the Jeep for safety but due to the ongoing bombing, her family cannot locate her and must make the painful decision to leave Nadia behind.Once Nadia regains consciousness, she is faced with the realization that she is alone. A mix of trepidation and determination, Nadia begins her journey to find her family. Not long into her journey, Nadia meets Ammo Mazen, a former bookbinder who offers to help Nadia locate her family. Unsure of whether to trust him, Nadia makes the bold decision to accept the old man’s offer and becomes his travel companion. Escape from Aleppo is Nadia’s story of courage, resolve, and faith to be safely reunited with her family. Like her teacher Ms. Darwish once told her, Nadia learns that she can accomplish great things if she puts her mind to it.Special thanks to Naheed Hasnat Senzai for providing our #bookexcursion group with an advance reader copy of this amazing novel which is a window for me to better understand the traumatic experiences of Syrian families like Nadia’s who were forced to leave their homes in order to survive. Pre-order now, for Escape from Aleppo will be released in January 2018.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I wanna read this.I usually never give ratings before reading. But how the hell does this have such a bad rating when it's not even out? There's zero reasons for this 🙄
  • Charlotte Beckmann
    January 1, 1970
    Four days.What changes a person in four days? An experience of life or death? Deciding to trust someone or not? Questioning even those kind souls who help you? Such an experience would strip away a child’s innocence. And what of becoming a refugee fleeing your own country for a safer place? Finding everything from life as you know it changed?Escape from Aleppo is a timely novel that brings its reader into the still-waging Syrian war. Nadia’s story begins sharply as her family’s neighborhood is b Four days.What changes a person in four days? An experience of life or death? Deciding to trust someone or not? Questioning even those kind souls who help you? Such an experience would strip away a child’s innocence. And what of becoming a refugee fleeing your own country for a safer place? Finding everything from life as you know it changed?Escape from Aleppo is a timely novel that brings its reader into the still-waging Syrian war. Nadia’s story begins sharply as her family’s neighborhood is bombed. In the frantic struggle and panic of getting to safety, Nadia is left behind by her family. She survives the blast, rescues the family cat and begins to make her way to the rallying point. Along the way, she meets an older man who offers to take her to the Turkish border where her father waits for her. It won’t be easy; soldiers and fighters from all sides are on the streets.During the trip, Nadia changes as she witnesses how life has changed in her city and country. She begins to see how many different ways the war is impacting people's lives. The author weaves the histories of Syria, the Middle East, and Islam into the story to help the reader understand the present-day issues. The story is intense and sad, but Nadia discovers her inner strength as well as the importance of compassion and mercy.This story is one of the most important books written for our time. Hopefully, it will help encourage more compassion and mercy in our society.I received an ARC of Escape from Aleppo at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Convention in November 2017 in St. Louis. Fortunately, my daughter chose the Children’s Book Award Luncheon for us to attend. As we selected a table, we were gifted this book and had the honor of the author sitting with us. She graciously signed our ARCs and chatted with all of the teachers at our table. From our short meeting, I suspected the book would be impactful.A couple of weeks later, I began to read the book as it had been a favorite from the convention. I brought it to school, hoping to steal a few minutes to read a few pages. One of my students, reluctant to read the book she’d chosen, wouldn’t stop distracting other students during study hall. After the fifth or sixth time of pleading with her to please read, she exclaimed “I can’t! I don’t like my book!” In exhausted desperation, I held up Escape from Aleppo and replied “Here! Read this!” She stomped to my desk and whisked the book from my hand. As she realized it was my book (complete with NCTE sticker as a bookmark), she looked at the front and then read the back. Within minutes, the book captivated her for the remaining class period. I allowed her to keep the book over the holidays so she could finish reading it. I fully expect a conversation with her, as well as the book to be passed around in my study hall next quarter.N. H. Senzai, thank you for writing this book. Escape from Aleppo will be available January 2, 2018, via Simon & Schuster.
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  • Sara (lyrical.reads)
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*N.H. Senzai’s newest novel, Escape from Aleppo, demonstrates the power of storytelling and the importance of family, history, and culture, all while creating a story that makes the topic of Syria approachable to both young and older readers. Escape from Aleppo tells the story of Nadia, a young girl living in a war-torn Syria, who attempts to flee with her family but gets separated from them during the chaos of bombs dropping nea *I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*N.H. Senzai’s newest novel, Escape from Aleppo, demonstrates the power of storytelling and the importance of family, history, and culture, all while creating a story that makes the topic of Syria approachable to both young and older readers. Escape from Aleppo tells the story of Nadia, a young girl living in a war-torn Syria, who attempts to flee with her family but gets separated from them during the chaos of bombs dropping nearby. Throughout the novel, Nadia often compares her life before the civil war--in which her greatest concern was mostly her painted nails--to the life full of hardship, caution, and tragedy she was currently experiencing. In this, Senzai contemplates the desensitized culture of today’s society, where the people focus on the “important” things in their life, while drowning out the problems of the rest of the world. However, through Escape from Aleppo, Senzai also re-sensitizes readers to the horrors occuring in our world, as well as the drastic differences in lifestyles (even though there are many similarities, too).Although the main audience for this novel are middle-grade readers, older readers can still benefit from Escape from Aleppo: Senzai touches upon PTSD and anxiety (Nadia freezes when she hears the bombs because of a previous incident), fear and loneliness, and family and the idea of home. When I began reading this novel, I had a general idea of what was happening in Syria, but I was less informed than I should have been. Even though Nadia’s story is one of fiction with a happier ending, its backdrop tells the true story. In Syria, Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian government holds control, but the emergence of multiple rebel groups challenges this corruption with, more often than not, violent strategies. Thus, Syria has been locked in a civil war since 2011, which, as Senzai writes extensively about, has destroyed more history of culture of Syria than all of the wars before. Although the story primarily focuses on Syria, Senzai also refers to the religious conflict that has exploded in the Middle East while giving small insight into Islam and its practices, a religion which has always been peaceful. Towards the end of the novel, Nadia is exposed to ISIS, who are not portrayed as a violent militant group, as the media generally does, but rather with a more human edge. Especially in times of war, many lose the perception of people as human. As Senzai expresses in the author’s note, Escape from Aleppo allows readers to see the human faces behind the warring nations.
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  • Amber Webb
    January 1, 1970
    The story of Nadia's childhood in Aleppo, Syria is not one I will soon forget. The book floats back and forth between the present and Nadia's recalled memories as she travels to meet her family in Turkey. The people she meets along the way deepen the story in ways I never imagined. This books filled me with empathy for those living in a world other than my own. Each step, a challenge; every breath a new fear, never knowing if you'll see another day. This historical fiction led me to want to know The story of Nadia's childhood in Aleppo, Syria is not one I will soon forget. The book floats back and forth between the present and Nadia's recalled memories as she travels to meet her family in Turkey. The people she meets along the way deepen the story in ways I never imagined. This books filled me with empathy for those living in a world other than my own. Each step, a challenge; every breath a new fear, never knowing if you'll see another day. This historical fiction led me to want to know more and help in ways I never thought about. Senzai writes in a way that allows you to be present with the characters and feel their fear and pain. At the end of the story, I learned that we all have the power to change, learn and grow. It won't always be easy, but if we believe in our hearts, we can be different.
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  • Linda V
    January 1, 1970
    Nadia is surrounded by her large extended family and her privelaged lifestyle in Aleppo Syria. With polital unrest, war gets closer and closer until the decision to flee to Turkey becomes the only choice. While leaving their home, the neighborhood gets bombed and Nadia becomes separated from her family. Left to flee to the border on her own, Nadia must avoid notice by the many factions warring in her homeland. During her journey she meets a sick, elderly gentleman traveling with a donkey and car Nadia is surrounded by her large extended family and her privelaged lifestyle in Aleppo Syria. With polital unrest, war gets closer and closer until the decision to flee to Turkey becomes the only choice. While leaving their home, the neighborhood gets bombed and Nadia becomes separated from her family. Left to flee to the border on her own, Nadia must avoid notice by the many factions warring in her homeland. During her journey she meets a sick, elderly gentleman traveling with a donkey and cart, as well as two orphans. While not entirely sure she can trust the old man she cautiously accepts his offer to help her get to the border. While fighting for survival, the little group forges a bond, finding strength in their relationship.The religious and political history of Syria is told in flashback chapters where Nadia looks back to the moment the war became more than white-noise in her life. Her journey is very real with descriptions of situations, people, and places as they are - right now, in Syria.Thank you Net Galley for the ARC to review. I look forward to the publication of this book!
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  • Joe Schrock
    January 1, 1970
    A very balanced look into one of the tragedies of our time. A story of personal growth, aging beyond years, the terrible effects of war and the hope despite all evidence to the contrary that there is the possibility of something better. It should be mandatory reading for our leaders, but also for all of us.
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  • Willa Valentine (paper.seas)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a heart-warming and thrilling children's novel about what it's like to live in a war-torn country. It follows Nadia, an average fifteen-year-old who loves singing and dancing. When her home is destroyed by the civil war in Syria, and she is forced to leave behind every comfort of her past, Nadia discovers hardship and the true history of her people. This book is a wonderful novel for middle schoolers and children, and I wish I had it when I was in elementary! I recommend it even if you' This was a heart-warming and thrilling children's novel about what it's like to live in a war-torn country. It follows Nadia, an average fifteen-year-old who loves singing and dancing. When her home is destroyed by the civil war in Syria, and she is forced to leave behind every comfort of her past, Nadia discovers hardship and the true history of her people. This book is a wonderful novel for middle schoolers and children, and I wish I had it when I was in elementary! I recommend it even if you're not a kid anymore — some stories are touching and brilliant even without the extravagance of YA and adult, and this is undoubtedly one of them.Look for Escape From Aleppo in stores January 2018!
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  • Heather Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Escape From Aleppo gives a kid's view of the events in Syria following the Arab Spring uprising. Senzai always does a great job of bringing current world events to American readers and Escape From Aleppo is another perfect example. I was interested in this book even more than others because many of my students are Syrian or Lebanese, so these events are particularly affecting for their families and friends. Nadia is twelve when the Arab Spring begins, and its consequences impact her whole family Escape From Aleppo gives a kid's view of the events in Syria following the Arab Spring uprising. Senzai always does a great job of bringing current world events to American readers and Escape From Aleppo is another perfect example. I was interested in this book even more than others because many of my students are Syrian or Lebanese, so these events are particularly affecting for their families and friends. Nadia is twelve when the Arab Spring begins, and its consequences impact her whole family and community. Nadia is injured in bombings, cannot go out for fear of becoming a target, and loses friends and family. But when she gets separated from her family during bombings in her neighborhood, Nadia must become stronger than she ever believed she could be in order to stay safe and find her way back to them.
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  • Haley Shaffer
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the mystery that Ammo Mazen’s character brought to the story.
  • Jeimy
    January 1, 1970
    Our young protagonist must find her way from Aleppo to the Turkish border after being left behind by her family who thought she was dead. Along the way she meets an interesting cast of characters and the reader gets an idea of the different factions vying for control of that city.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    ESCAPE FROM ALEPPO by N H SenzaiWar is terrifying. When you are 15 and suddenly separated from your family in the middle of a desperate flight with family members slated for imprisonment, civil war becomes a terrifying reality.Nadia, raised in an upper middle class family with all the modern conveniences Americans enjoy, is left in war torn Aleppo on her own after a bombing raid. Her family is making their way to safety in Turkey. ESCAPE FROM ALEPPO makes war real while presenting the political ESCAPE FROM ALEPPO by N H SenzaiWar is terrifying. When you are 15 and suddenly separated from your family in the middle of a desperate flight with family members slated for imprisonment, civil war becomes a terrifying reality.Nadia, raised in an upper middle class family with all the modern conveniences Americans enjoy, is left in war torn Aleppo on her own after a bombing raid. Her family is making their way to safety in Turkey. ESCAPE FROM ALEPPO makes war real while presenting the political realities of an international crisis. The book does not sugar coat the situations Nadia encounters in her flight from the city. The situation is realistic. The characters are complex. The politics are presented from a Syrian’s point of view. The writing and plotting is intense. The devastation in once beautiful and vibrant Aleppo is made clear.The novel is aimed at Middle Schoolers but might be too intense for this younger group. High schoolers will identify with Nadia, a “modern” teen. This would be a good book for discussion, especially of politics and the repercussions of decisions made by foreign leaders. 5 of 5 stars
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  • Laura Hoyler
    January 1, 1970
    I read this in a day- I could not put it down. I admittedly did not know a lot about Syria and exactly what horrors were occurring. My 4th graders read a non fiction piece this fall, and we spent two months working with the text. When I saw this book, I knew I needed to add it to my classroom library. It will be going into the YES! bag (a bag of books that I book talk to the class with to build excitement and then are up for grabs for the kids to read) on Monday!
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  • Sandy O'Brien
    January 1, 1970
    “You have not needed me for a while now. You are much stronger than you think. And together, you are more than capable of finishing your journey north.” Nadia’s journey to safety and reconnecting with her family is one that will stick with me forever. ‪“You have not needed me for a while now. You are much stronger than you think. And together, you are more than capable of finishing your journey north.” Nadia’s journey to safety and reconnecting with her family is one that will stick with me forever.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    Simply amazing! N. H. Senzai pulled me in yet again. I cried and laughed and cried some more. Beautifully written and heart wrenching because of its portrayal of what children are going through right now. Thank you for this book.
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    This is an important book and sadly relevant in our current world. The story of a girl left behind in Syria as she tries to escape to rejoin her family in a Turkish refugee camp. The tale tells of the horror of war, but intermingles with luscious flashbacks of the rich history and treasure of the country. I wish I could have seen it before the war. This would be a good book to share with students, to put a human face on the issue.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I thought that escape from Aleppo was a really good book. It was portrayed realistically and I thought the journey was clear. The characters were well thought out. One thing I thought really portrayed the disaster was this quote. “‘What are you doing?‘ [Nadia] asked. ‘I’m watering mommy,’ he replied.Nadia frowned. ‘Watering you mother?’He looked at her like that was the kind of idiotic question only outsiders asked. ‘If I water her, then something will grow for sure, to give her shade.’His mothe I thought that escape from Aleppo was a really good book. It was portrayed realistically and I thought the journey was clear. The characters were well thought out. One thing I thought really portrayed the disaster was this quote. “‘What are you doing?‘ [Nadia] asked. ‘I’m watering mommy,’ he replied.Nadia frowned. ‘Watering you mother?’He looked at her like that was the kind of idiotic question only outsiders asked. ‘If I water her, then something will grow for sure, to give her shade.’His mother’s grave. ‘I -I’m sorry, ‘ she stammered eying the mounds hugging the playground on all sides.The boy shrugged. ‘It was her heart. We wanted to take her to the hospital but it was gone. Destroyed by bombs. We couldn’t find anyone to help her in time.“(41)I thought that showed the shocking reality of the crisis in Syria. The only issue I had with this book was that I thought the ending should have been more clear.
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  • Michele Knott
    January 1, 1970
    An important read for middle grade readers as, hopefully, a windows book. Senzai gives us a glimpse into what it may be like for one child trying to leave war torn Aleppo. Throughout the story the reader comes to understand the turmoil in this area where many readers of the same age have not known anything but war. A great ladder book from Gratz's Refugee.
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  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    Why are there already one-star reviews? This islamophobia is frankly ridiculous and tiresome. I'm exhausted by this.
  • Kathie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Edelweiss+ for an E ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.The story begins with Nadia and her family preparing to escape Aleppo, and flee to Turkey. During an explosion, she is separated from them, and is forced to try and navigate the city herself to meet at their rendezvous point. When she arrives, she learns that they have gone ahead without her, but her father will be waiting for her at the border. She joins up with a man whom she does not believe is who he says he is, as we Thank you to Edelweiss+ for an E ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.The story begins with Nadia and her family preparing to escape Aleppo, and flee to Turkey. During an explosion, she is separated from them, and is forced to try and navigate the city herself to meet at their rendezvous point. When she arrives, she learns that they have gone ahead without her, but her father will be waiting for her at the border. She joins up with a man whom she does not believe is who he says he is, as well as two other boys who are also trying to find a way to stay alive in a city that's falling apart. Nadia is desperate to make it to the border before it is too late, but several challenges will have to be overcome if that is to happen.The story also has several flashback to earlier time periods, and does a fantastic job of explaining the history behind the conflict in a way that is understandable for middle grade readers. The flashbacks also help us see how much Nadia matures and grows. Though the subject matter is intense, I think it will definitely appeal to students who like Alan Gratz's REFUGEE.Timely and insightful, ESCAPE FROM ALEPPO is a book that will stick with me for a long time. It's one I believe is essential to every middle grade library. I learned so much about the Syrian conflict, and I developed a much better understanding of the complicated issues propelling and support it. I can already tell you that this will likely be on one of my favorites of 2018 lists
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  • Kristin Crouch
    January 1, 1970
    Nadia has watched, over her short life, her country go from normalcy and peace to complete war and chaos. It is in the latter environment that she must make her way to the Turkish border. Senzai manages to capture the beauty and richness of Syria's history while deftly explaining how and why the war rages on. It is while leaving her country that Nadia realizes what is being lost in Syria- life, peace, innocence, and a shared history of what it means to be Syrian. Senzai balances the heartbreak o Nadia has watched, over her short life, her country go from normalcy and peace to complete war and chaos. It is in the latter environment that she must make her way to the Turkish border. Senzai manages to capture the beauty and richness of Syria's history while deftly explaining how and why the war rages on. It is while leaving her country that Nadia realizes what is being lost in Syria- life, peace, innocence, and a shared history of what it means to be Syrian. Senzai balances the heartbreak of a broken country with the hope of reuniting with family. A tough, necessary read.
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