Sea Prayer
A short, powerful, illustrated book written by Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone. Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi's, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

Sea Prayer Details

TitleSea Prayer
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 18th, 2018
PublisherRiverhead Books
Rating
GenrePoetry, Fiction, Short Stories, Historical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Picture Books, War

Sea Prayer Review

  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    Khaled Hosseini's Sea Prayer isn't a book—it's a poem. But it's more than a poem—it is, in essence, a letter written from father to son, a prayer lifted up on the eve of a journey away from their war-torn country, a journey which could prove tremendously dangerous.In less than 50 pages, Hosseini's words and the beautiful illustrations break your heart. This was inspired by the story of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy believed to have drowned during his family's attempts to flee their c Khaled Hosseini's Sea Prayer isn't a book—it's a poem. But it's more than a poem—it is, in essence, a letter written from father to son, a prayer lifted up on the eve of a journey away from their war-torn country, a journey which could prove tremendously dangerous.In less than 50 pages, Hosseini's words and the beautiful illustrations break your heart. This was inspired by the story of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy believed to have drowned during his family's attempts to flee their country, but it could be anyone's story. The remembrances of better times, reflections of a country once utterly beautiful but now devastated by war and the resulting effects, words that a young boy might not understand now but might grow to appreciate later.I read this in just a few minutes and it punched a hole in my heart. We often don't take the time to think of what families must go through when they leave their homes which are welcoming no more. We don't think about their fears, their memories which make them reluctant to leave, the dangers they face along the way.Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns , will donate his proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe. Sea Prayer is short and powerful, and once it is read it will not cease to be felt or forgotten. Thank you, Khaled Hosseini, for reminding us of the emotional and physical costs of immigration.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
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  • Lala BooksandLala
    January 1, 1970
    Truly one of the best books of 2018. Impactful and difficult, reading this with my 8 year old was a daunting yet necessary task.
  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    I'm really not sure how to describe this book. It's a letter from a father to his son, the night before they leave their war-torn country for a safer place. It's not great and the father is terrified because it involves a great deal of danger (especially for the portion of the trip that's by boat). You can feel his fear and at the same time his knowledge that there's no real good choice. Leaving is dangerous and there's a very real chance that one or all of them will die. But staying isn't a goo I'm really not sure how to describe this book. It's a letter from a father to his son, the night before they leave their war-torn country for a safer place. It's not great and the father is terrified because it involves a great deal of danger (especially for the portion of the trip that's by boat). You can feel his fear and at the same time his knowledge that there's no real good choice. Leaving is dangerous and there's a very real chance that one or all of them will die. But staying isn't a good option, either. If you stay, you'll almost definitely die. There aren't any safe choices.There are pictures throughout the book, these gorgeous sketches, and they absolutely broke my heart. It's almost excruciating to read the few lines of text and look at the pictures. And there's no resolution, because it's the night before they leave. I think it's impossible to read this and not feel so much compassion for refugees. (But, of course, the people who need to find their compassion are the same people who would never read this book.)Highly recommended.
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Wave after wave......From calm seas of memories to the over-powering turbulence of the present, Khaled Hosseini presents a story drifting from father to son in the form of a tragic letter. From the shores of chaos come words that touch the lips and soften the heart in slow steady beats. What was is no longer and what will be is only for fate to decide.Hosseini's father figure grasps the small hand of his son and tries to paint within him a canvas of what life was like in his grandfather's house Wave after wave......From calm seas of memories to the over-powering turbulence of the present, Khaled Hosseini presents a story drifting from father to son in the form of a tragic letter. From the shores of chaos come words that touch the lips and soften the heart in slow steady beats. What was is no longer and what will be is only for fate to decide.Hosseini's father figure grasps the small hand of his son and tries to paint within him a canvas of what life was like in his grandfather's house in Syria so long ago. Time and place belonged to this family and it was solely theirs. But now, memories serve only as a conduit to the treasured people and daily events that have been savagely torn away by the bombing and the senseless war.Sea Prayer is so very brief in its size, but its impact is profound. The watercolor illustrations seem to glide from one page to the next. The hues call out for simple compassion. And those words, those words will take residence in your heart. How can we not listen and take heed? How can we not?
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very short book—a picture book, really—but because of the subject matter, it feels almost heavy in my hands right now. My eyes also understand that this is no bedtime story. It isn’t the most original piece ever written, but do we really need ‘‘originality’’ when we’re talking about war, chaos and death, or do we need affective? Emotional. Realistic. Vivid. A piece that we understand and that gently awakens our ability to show compassion.I am slightly ashamed to say that the only other This is a very short book—a picture book, really—but because of the subject matter, it feels almost heavy in my hands right now. My eyes also understand that this is no bedtime story. It isn’t the most original piece ever written, but do we really need ‘‘originality’’ when we’re talking about war, chaos and death, or do we need affective? Emotional. Realistic. Vivid. A piece that we understand and that gently awakens our ability to show compassion.I am slightly ashamed to say that the only other book I read from this author was his graphic novel adaptation of The Kite Runner. I am deeply moved by his writing and yet haven’t experienced the prose in his novels? Shame on me. But this is a poetic work, and a well-written one at that, so I would not recommend reading it before going to, say, a birthday party. I can’t exactly conjure a smile at the moment. This beautiful poem about the refugee crisis reminded me of a time, I believe three years ago, when I was asked by someone what my opinion was on the people taking refuge in Canada. Because I knew nothing about the topic and the refugees themselves, I said I didn’t have an opinion. Boy do I wish I could take that back now. Go back in time. Bring this book with me. Point and explain. Share and encourage participation in the discussion. But it’s never too late to learn and open one’s mind. The author is right: If everyone knew what refugees go through in detail, no one would dare say they should go back to where they came from unless, you know, they're not human.Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’
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  • Elizabeth Sagan
    January 1, 1970
    Original: 3 stars.*I think I could read it while holding my breath.*WHAT IS THIS, A STORY FOR ANTS?*VERY, VERY, VERY SHORT.*And overpriced. You can find it on Youtube.*I love you, KH, but why am I feeling scammed?*I will still buy your books tho. But I will CHECK THE NUMBER OF PAGES.*EDIT 1, 2 stars. It could have been so much more, while still being a short thing (not that short tho). 2 stars for the message and for the theme and for the cute poem... but otherwise... it was... a waste... of mon Original: 3 stars.*I think I could read it while holding my breath.*WHAT IS THIS, A STORY FOR ANTS?*VERY, VERY, VERY SHORT.*And overpriced. You can find it on Youtube.*I love you, KH, but why am I feeling scammed?*I will still buy your books tho. But I will CHECK THE NUMBER OF PAGES.*EDIT 1, 2 stars. It could have been so much more, while still being a short thing (not that short tho). 2 stars for the message and for the theme and for the cute poem... but otherwise... it was... a waste... of money. Sorry.*EDIT 2, 1 star. No, actually I'm not OK. Give me something that's worth 10$...
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    I read this short offering by Hosseini, an author I very much admire, in a matter of minutes. In the title is the word prayer, and it is a prayer to a child, a people, young people who will never know the country of their birth, Syria, without bombs, towns in ruins and starvation. Not the vibrant place it had been. A prayer to all people for compassion, understanding, for a little hope for the refugees fleeing for their life. The illustrations are beautifully wrought, from color to black and whi I read this short offering by Hosseini, an author I very much admire, in a matter of minutes. In the title is the word prayer, and it is a prayer to a child, a people, young people who will never know the country of their birth, Syria, without bombs, towns in ruins and starvation. Not the vibrant place it had been. A prayer to all people for compassion, understanding, for a little hope for the refugees fleeing for their life. The illustrations are beautifully wrought, from color to black and white. It is indeed a homage to the many who have lost their lives to the sea, fleeing a worn torn country. Among the 4, 176 who died or went missing attempting this journey, was a three year old named Alan Kurdi, and Hosseini wrote this short, beautiful piece for them. Heartbreakng.
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  • Dana Ilie
    January 1, 1970
    I'm speechless and crying. With a few words and some illustrations this guy told the world all that is to tell
  • Ij
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Prayer is a beautifully illustrated short story (very short), where a father reminisces with his sleeping son in his arms. They are refugees waiting for the next stage of their journey. The father recalls how he and his brothers enjoyed their summers at their grandfather’s farm, knowing that his son won’t be able to share this same experience. They are fleeing from Syria, but, it could be any one of several countries.There are many reasons that people seek refuge in countries other than thei Sea Prayer is a beautifully illustrated short story (very short), where a father reminisces with his sleeping son in his arms. They are refugees waiting for the next stage of their journey. The father recalls how he and his brothers enjoyed their summers at their grandfather’s farm, knowing that his son won’t be able to share this same experience. They are fleeing from Syria, but, it could be any one of several countries.There are many reasons that people seek refuge in countries other than their own, e.g., religious persecution, war, violence, starvation, slavery, etc. They are seeking a better life for themselves and their families.Sadly, often these refugees don’t reach their destination. Khaled Hosseini was inspired to write this short story by the news and photo many of us read and saw of the little boy that drowned crossing the Mediterranean Sea in 2015. Also, sadly, often the refugees that do make it to another country are not welcomed. The United States once welcomed refugees. Now not so much. The illustrations were done by Dan Williams. Hosseini has pledged proceeds from this book to the U.N. Refugee Agency.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    ”This book is dedicatedto the thousands of refugeeswho have perished at seafleeing war and persecution.”Khaled Hosseini, author of ’The Kite Runner,’ A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed has combined his writing skills with the artistic skills of Dan Williams, illustrator, for this epistolary poem, from father to son upon the journey which they are about to embark.As this is a letter from a father to son to young to have his own memories, the content is meant for, and appropria ”This book is dedicatedto the thousands of refugeeswho have perished at seafleeing war and persecution.”Khaled Hosseini, author of ’The Kite Runner,’ A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed has combined his writing skills with the artistic skills of Dan Williams, illustrator, for this epistolary poem, from father to son upon the journey which they are about to embark.As this is a letter from a father to son to young to have his own memories, the content is meant for, and appropriate for, all ages. It is short, at 48 pages, with some of those having perhaps one line, or none – but every page is filled with beauty, regardless. A reflection on better times, something we can all relate to be guilty of now and then, he shows his son through his stories the beauty of the life and the country which they are about to leave. These reflections offer soothing memories on the precipice of this dangerous journey.”Sea Prayer was inspired by the story of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach safety in Europe in 2015.“In the year after Alan’s death, 4,176 others died or went missing attempting that same journey.” Hosseini’s author proceeds from this book will be donated to the UNHCR (unhcr.org/khaled-hosseini), the UN Refugee Agency, and to The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund life-saving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.And, like all of his other books, this is heartbreakingly lovely.
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  • Creta
    January 1, 1970
    YASSSSSSSSHHHH FINALLY. A NEW FREAKIN’ BOOK.
  • Sheri
    January 1, 1970
    Even amongst the bombs, starvation, and burials, hope never dies. Witness here a father’s prayer that his son shall know safety, security, and home as a place of happiness. A short read that is poignant and powerful.
  • Mutasim Billah
    January 1, 1970
    Sea Prayer is like that rare songbird singing on a winter morning, only to fly away in a moment. Inspired by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the beach in Turkey in September 2015, it is a touching tribute to the families of the refugees who've lost everything but their memories of wartime.Alan Kurdi, another life lost at sea. Its only flaw, though, is its incredibly short length. Written in the form of a touching letter from a refugee Sea Prayer is like that rare songbird singing on a winter morning, only to fly away in a moment. Inspired by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the beach in Turkey in September 2015, it is a touching tribute to the families of the refugees who've lost everything but their memories of wartime.Alan Kurdi, another life lost at sea. Its only flaw, though, is its incredibly short length. Written in the form of a touching letter from a refugee father to his child, author proceeds from this book will be donated to UNHCR and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation in the hopes of giving the ones who've lost all to war and persecution a better life.Sea Prayer is a father’s reflection as he watches over his sleeping son, on the dangerous journey across the sea that lies before them. It is also an account of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.The book is beautifully illustrated by British painter Dan Williams.
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  • Victoria
    January 1, 1970
    Only a talent like Hosseini could conjure such poignancy and pain in a few scant pages. Beautiful in the telling, magnificent in its illustrated execution; a reminder that there are so many who will risk everything for refuge. Thank you, Mr. Hosseini.
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  • Maria Espadinha
    January 1, 1970
    SOS MundoQuando um cadáver dum menino de 3 anos, assoma à costa da Turquia, é legítimo interrogarmo-nos sobre as causas de tão chocante acontecimento!Porém, assim que nos inteiramos da nacionalidade da criança em referência, vemos dissipados todos os eventuais comos e porquês!Alan K, pertencia a uma família síria, incluída no grupo de desesperados que fogem à guerra fazendo-se ao mar, levando consigo apenas um desejo — permanecer no Mundo dos Vivos.Ao pequeno Alan, tal desejo não foi concedido!. SOS MundoQuando um cadáver dum menino de 3 anos, assoma à costa da Turquia, é legítimo interrogarmo-nos sobre as causas de tão chocante acontecimento!Porém, assim que nos inteiramos da nacionalidade da criança em referência, vemos dissipados todos os eventuais comos e porquês!Alan K, pertencia a uma família síria, incluída no grupo de desesperados que fogem à guerra fazendo-se ao mar, levando consigo apenas um desejo — permanecer no Mundo dos Vivos.Ao pequeno Alan, tal desejo não foi concedido!...Foi então para homenagear os mártires desta guerra que está a acontecer, que Khaled Hosseini escreveu um texto de escassas mas sentidas palavras, enriquecido por um conjunto de belíssimas aguarelas que serão certamente um deleite, para aqueles que se entregarem à sua leitura.E fê-lo num gesto de puro humanismo, pois parte das receitas desta obra, revertem a favor daqueles que escaparam às garras duma guerra que não quiseram nem fizeram, mas que os atingiu como um raio ...Assim, se também nós, os favorecidos pela Paz, almejarmos auxiliar os refugiados de mais uma Guerra atroz, basta-nos corresponder a esta nobre iniciativa de Hosseini, adquirindo uma cópia deste poderoso livrinho.Vamos ajudá-los!!!
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  • Cindy Pham
    January 1, 1970
    Short and poignant with beautiful illustrations. I wish it was longer.
  • Brandice
    January 1, 1970
    A short, but impactful read, Sea Prayer is a letter from a father to his son, reflecting on their life up until this point, and the potential hazards as they travel across the sea. You can feel the father’s love for his son, and also sympathize with the dread he must feel as they prepare for the risks that lie ahead, in an effort to escape danger and turmoil, to seek a better life. Sea Prayer was a very quick read but one I really enjoyed. The illustrations were great as well, with the colors ch A short, but impactful read, Sea Prayer is a letter from a father to his son, reflecting on their life up until this point, and the potential hazards as they travel across the sea. You can feel the father’s love for his son, and also sympathize with the dread he must feel as they prepare for the risks that lie ahead, in an effort to escape danger and turmoil, to seek a better life. Sea Prayer was a very quick read but one I really enjoyed. The illustrations were great as well, with the colors changing along the tone of the story.
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  • PattyMacDotComma
    January 1, 1970
    5★“The skies spitting bombs.Starvation.Burials.These are the things you know.”You do realise, that if these are things you don't know first-hand, you're just lucky, don't you? I sure do!This is a most moving tribute to the countless, unlucky people displaced by war – which is a polite way of saying to those whose homes and towns have been bombed to smithereens so they have nowhere safe to live. "I have heard it said we are the uninvited./ We are the unwelcome./ We should take our misfortune else 5★“The skies spitting bombs.Starvation.Burials.These are the things you know.”You do realise, that if these are things you don't know first-hand, you're just lucky, don't you? I sure do!This is a most moving tribute to the countless, unlucky people displaced by war – which is a polite way of saying to those whose homes and towns have been bombed to smithereens so they have nowhere safe to live. "I have heard it said we are the uninvited./ We are the unwelcome./ We should take our misfortune elsewhere."I think “we” all thought when the famous photo of Alan Kurdi raised our collective ire and brought tears to our eyes, that “something would be done”. WE WERE WRONG. Toddler Alan Kurdi, September 2015Below are a few of the lines and the beautiful illustrations of Hosseini's tribute, which I hope will raise not just ire and tears but money and support for refugees. The strokes ( / ) between the words indicate where the lines break on the page.A father speaks to his young son."I have a sharply etched memory/ of your mother from that trip,/ showing you a herd of cows grazing in a field/ blown through with wild flowers.""I wish you remembered/ the crowded lanes smelling of fried kibbeh/ and the evening walks we took/ with your mother/ around Clock Tower Square.""The skies spitting bombs./ Starvation./ Burials.""You have learned that mothers and/ sisters and classmates can be found/ in narrow gaps between concrete,/ bricks and exposed beams,/ little patches of sunlit skin/ shining in the dark."". . . Afghans and Somalis and Iraqis and/ Eritreans and Syrians./ All of us impatient for sunrise,/ all of us in dread of it./ All of us in search of home.""I said to you,/ ‘Hold my hand. Nothing bad will happen.’ These are only words./ A father’s tricks./ It slays your father,/ your faith in him./ Because all I can think tonight is/ how deep the sea, and how vast, how indifferent./ How powerless I am to protect you from it.""Pray God steers the vessel true,/ when the shores slip out of eyeshot/ and we are a flyspeck/ in the heaving waters, pitching and tilting,/ easily swallowed."Well-known author Kahled Hosseini and artist Dan Williams really punch the message home with this. Hosseini, who comes from Afghanistan, now has a non-profit foundation for Afghan refugees: https://www.khaledhosseinifoundation....He is donating the author proceeds to the UNHCR and the publisher is donating £1 from the sale of this book to UNHCR. [I borrowed the book from the library, so I donated directly to the UNHCR myself.]I recommend you have a look at The Guardian’s article about the book and the wonderful video they made of the story. It is a “360” panoramic one, so you use the little round button in the top left corner to move the picture around as the illustration moves to the right. (It seems it works best in Chrome and does not work in Safari.)This is a separate production with different artwork.https://www.theguardian.com/world/201...If you buy the Kindle version, be sure to read it on a device with a colour screen. I gather a regular Kindle isn't suitable, which makes sense.I am still gob-smacked that in this modern, 24/7, globally-connected, socially-active world that we continue to "other" each other. How ridiculous!We seem happy to enjoy celebrities and sports champions from every far-flung corner. What's the matter with us???
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  • Mohammed-Makram
    January 1, 1970
    أمك يا مروان هنا الليلة معنا.تجلس على الشاطئ البارد الذي يضيئه نور القمر.بين الرضع الباكين واألمهات الضارعات بلغات ال نفهمها.أفغان وصوماليون وعراقيون.وإريتريون وسوريون.كلنا ننتظر. دون صبر. طلوع الشمس ونحن نخشاه.كلنا نبحث عن بيت.سمعتهم يقولون إنهم ال يريدون استقبالنا.نحن غير المرغوب فينا.علينا أن نحمل معنا سوء حظنا ونرحل إلى مكان آخر. ليست رواية بل أقرب للشعر النثري مع بعض الرسومات من وحي غرق الطفل الكردي إيلان على شواطيء المتوسط أثناء محاولة النجاة من الحرب السورية. من الكتب التي تقرأها في خمس أمك يا مروان هنا الليلة معنا.تجلس على الشاطئ البارد الذي يضيئه نور القمر.بين الرضع الباكين واألمهات الضارعات بلغات ال نفهمها.أفغان وصوماليون وعراقيون.وإريتريون وسوريون.كلنا ننتظر. دون صبر. طلوع الشمس ونحن نخشاه.كلنا نبحث عن بيت.سمعتهم يقولون إنهم ال يريدون استقبالنا.نحن غير المرغوب فينا.علينا أن نحمل معنا سوء حظنا ونرحل إلى مكان آخر. ليست رواية بل أقرب للشعر النثري مع بعض الرسومات من وحي غرق الطفل الكردي إيلان على شواطيء المتوسط أثناء محاولة النجاة من الحرب السورية. من الكتب التي تقرأها في خمس دقائق و يظل شبحها يطاردك طويال.
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  • Seemita
    January 1, 1970
    [Originally appeared here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/l...]For long now, Khaled Hosseini has cemented his position as an author who imparts a subtle yet searing voice to the victims of war, riots and displacement, especially in the Islamic countries. We have clutched our hearts and have sobbed silent tears at his Hassan’s redemption and Mariam’s journey. And Sea Prayer, at its core, harbors a similar cry for life.A father with his young son, Marwan pressed to his chest, is awaiting a sh [Originally appeared here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/l...]For long now, Khaled Hosseini has cemented his position as an author who imparts a subtle yet searing voice to the victims of war, riots and displacement, especially in the Islamic countries. We have clutched our hearts and have sobbed silent tears at his Hassan’s redemption and Mariam’s journey. And Sea Prayer, at its core, harbors a similar cry for life.A father with his young son, Marwan pressed to his chest, is awaiting a ship that shall take them away from home. Because their home, Syria, has been bombed and violated beyond dignity, the residents must abandon it for dear life. Under the dark clouds of the night, the father casts a nostalgic eye on the glorious days gone by at Homs and prays to instill hope in his young son’s heart, and within himself, despite the circumstances otherwise. The vicious sea finally takes them into its lap and at some long, charcoal horizon, they become one.Hossieni was inspired to pen ‘Sea Prayer’ when the image of a 3-year old Syrian child, Alan Kurdi, washed ashore in Turkey in 2015, splashed across the media. He didn’t make it. And in this poignant account, Hosseini brings to fore, in restrained luminosity, the plights of parents under such calamitous skies.The appeal of Sea Prayer grows manifold with the marvelous illustrations of Dan Williams. The water-colors capture the spirit of the story in their dainty strokes, blurred outlines and eclectic colors fading into monochromes towards the climax; like life coming to a standstill after wobbling on the pulsing veins of promise.This is a Hosseini we have never read, and yet, this is, after all, the only Hosseini we know of.
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  • Tukunjil Nayeera
    January 1, 1970
    This short yet very powerful book left me with a broken heart.In September 2015 a photograph made global headlines which was taken by Nilüfer Demir, a Turkish photojournalist, and photographer based in Bodrum, Turkey. The photograph was of a young boy on a beach, fully clothed but lying face-down at the water's edge, like an exhausted toddler who had awkwardly fallen asleep. The young boy named Alan Kurdi, three-year-old Syrian refugee became a symbol of the plight of so many others fleeing conf This short yet very powerful book left me with a broken heart.In September 2015 a photograph made global headlines which was taken by Nilüfer Demir, a Turkish photojournalist, and photographer based in Bodrum, Turkey. The photograph was of a young boy on a beach, fully clothed but lying face-down at the water's edge, like an exhausted toddler who had awkwardly fallen asleep. The young boy named Alan Kurdi, three-year-old Syrian refugee became a symbol of the plight of so many others fleeing conflict and persecution in Syria and elsewhere left the world heartbroken. Hosseini impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi. Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey towards a safer place. Leaving home isn't easy not when a dangerous sea lying ahead. However, staying in a country which transformed into a deadly war zone isn't an option, either.Father can vividly recall the sweet moments of his childhood when he spent days at Homs. Those days were bright, breezy, shiny, and full of life! However, his son was too young to remember those happy memories. This part of the story just broke my heart. Once Agatha Christie said, "One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood." Those who don't have a happy childhood or even worse, those who have a terrible childhood with the memories of the skies spitting bombs, starvation, burials are the wretched creatures on earth.I couldn't imagine how terrible a father must feel when he says words to his son, ‘Hold my hand. Nothing bad will happen.’ even though he knows by heart anything worse could happen at every moment. And he couldn't help himself with anything but praying.Words can hurt us like a bullet. And when words transformed into illustrations to convey the message it will haunt you down to your sleep. This book will haunt me for me long time. Highly recommended!P.S. If you want to help the refugees like Kurdi's, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution buy a original copy of this book. Because Khaled Hosseini will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.
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  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    Left heartbroken after seeing the photo of toddler Alan Kurdi's body lying face-down on a Turkish beach, Hosseini sought to express his feelings, as a father, regarding families of refugees enduring physical and emotional loss to reach a potential safe harbor. Sea Prayer is Hosseini's tribute to refugees who have lost their lives and to those who have continued their journey after losing everything else. This short essay, written in the form of a fictitious letter from a refugee father to his sl Left heartbroken after seeing the photo of toddler Alan Kurdi's body lying face-down on a Turkish beach, Hosseini sought to express his feelings, as a father, regarding families of refugees enduring physical and emotional loss to reach a potential safe harbor. Sea Prayer is Hosseini's tribute to refugees who have lost their lives and to those who have continued their journey after losing everything else. This short essay, written in the form of a fictitious letter from a refugee father to his sleeping son, is also a prayer for humanity, meant to evoke compassion and create conversation.For libraries having a hard time deciding how to catalog this:I'm putting ours in 818.609 and adding American Prose Literature -- 21st Century as the first subject heading followed by fiction headings and the GSAFD for War Stories.
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Impactful, evocative, and profoundly moving!Sea Prayer is an intense, beautifully depicted story that highlights the plight of thousands around the world who are forced to leave their homes and embark on a perilous journey to find safety and freedom for themselves and their families.The prose is lyrical and fluid. The narration is unique and powerful and told entirely through a heartfelt letter written by a father to his young son. And the illustrations are a perfect complement to the compelling Impactful, evocative, and profoundly moving!Sea Prayer is an intense, beautifully depicted story that highlights the plight of thousands around the world who are forced to leave their homes and embark on a perilous journey to find safety and freedom for themselves and their families.The prose is lyrical and fluid. The narration is unique and powerful and told entirely through a heartfelt letter written by a father to his young son. And the illustrations are a perfect complement to the compelling, emotional plot as they transport you from the greens and reds of content country life to the blacks and browns of turmoil and war, and then on to the blues and dark greens of the unpredictable, endless raging sea.Overall I would have to say that Sea Prayer is a short but incredibly poignant tale that reminds us that the base of humanity is kindness, compassion, and strength and that no matter nationality, locale, or religious beliefs everyone deserves to be loved, protected, and free.Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Stephanie Anze
    January 1, 1970
    "I have heard it said we are the uninvited. We are the unwelcome. We should take our misfortunes elsewhere."'Sea Prayer' is a letter a father writes to his son. They are fleeing their home country because life there is not safe anymore. They are seeking asylum and risk everything by boarding a boat that may lead them to a better life. At least, that is what they hope. He can offer no gurantees. He can only pray.Khaled Hosseini first captured my heart with 'The Kite Runner' and since then I have "I have heard it said we are the uninvited. We are the unwelcome. We should take our misfortunes elsewhere."'Sea Prayer' is a letter a father writes to his son. They are fleeing their home country because life there is not safe anymore. They are seeking asylum and risk everything by boarding a boat that may lead them to a better life. At least, that is what they hope. He can offer no gurantees. He can only pray.Khaled Hosseini first captured my heart with 'The Kite Runner' and since then I have read many books by him. 'Sea Prayer' is his first release in many years but it has that same depth, soul and emotional quality of all his previous books. The watercolor illustrations perfectly reflect the mood and tone of the printed word. They move the story along as waves glide in the sea. For a book that can be read in under five minutes, it leaves an indelible mark on the reader. Its a poetic and timely book that will stay with me for a long time.Hosseini was inspired to write this book after the death of Alan Kurdi. Alan and his family were Syrain refugees that were trying to flee on a boat. Unfortunately Alan, his brother and mother all drowned near a Turkish beach. Alan was only three years old. His image, of him lying facedown on the beach after being pulled from the sea, captured the attention of the world and it became the image for the refugee crisis. Thanks to Hosseini for honoring a life that was unjustly cut short, too short.
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  • Farah Shamma
    January 1, 1970
    “Because all I can think tonight is how deep the sea, and how vast, how indifferent. How powerless I am to protect you from it.”
  • Supreeth
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, well spent three minutes.
  • David Schaafsma
    January 1, 1970
    "But that life, that time, seems like a dream now.”Hosseini, an international literary sensation with over 55 million books sold, uses this book to mark the one year anniversary of the death of the 3-year Syrian boy whose body washed up on the shores of Turkey, and to also dedicate it to “the thousands of refugees who have perished at sea fleeing war and persecution."A short, all-ages picture book, it is the story of a father and his son who, facing “the sky spitting bombs,” become refugees, rea "But that life, that time, seems like a dream now.”Hosseini, an international literary sensation with over 55 million books sold, uses this book to mark the one year anniversary of the death of the 3-year Syrian boy whose body washed up on the shores of Turkey, and to also dedicate it to “the thousands of refugees who have perished at sea fleeing war and persecution."A short, all-ages picture book, it is the story of a father and his son who, facing “the sky spitting bombs,” become refugees, ready to leave on a boat. Early memories of Syria are sweet, good:In its bustling Old City,a mosque for us Muslims,a church for our Christian neighbors,and a grand souk for us allto haggle over gold pendants andfresh produce and bridal dresses.But some memories are also horrific, with bombs, hunger, blood, a mother who has died, and conditions force them to leave. On a "cold and moonlit beach" with other refugees, the father offers up a prayer to the sea to protect his young, vulnerable son: "Inshallah" ("if Allah wills it"), the sea will spare his son.Sea Prayer is a short, slight, evocative book that is possibly more than anything else about helping us imagine how we might feel if we were that father who loses his son on that beach, but if adults and children read it together, they can also discuss the growing and never-ending refugee problem we all face. It’s maybe not a great book, but Hosseini is a very good writer with a great heart, and Dan Williams does a nice job of evoking the light, happy memories of the distant past, and the darker, more immediate past, and the more foreboding glance into the future.Hosseini, an ambassador for UNHCR, the United Nations' refugee agency, recently went to Lebanon to meet with Syrian refugees:"One out of six people on the streets is a Syrian refugee. Most live on less than $4 a day in makeshift, improvised housing structures like abandoned garages and warehouses. So it's a hard life. When I was speaking to these refugees, I could imagine how I too, as a father who would not be able to provide for his children, might choose also to pay smugglers and try one of these desperate crossing[s] across the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores and try to secure a better life for my family."
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  • Monika Singh
    January 1, 1970
    When each word reeks of powerlessness, an absence of hope and a desire to protect, you know what a harrowing read it can be.
  • Magrat Ajostiernos
    January 1, 1970
    Muy muy cortito, evocativo y tristísimo.
  • Sam Quixote
    January 1, 1970
    Khaled Hosseini was inspired to write Sea Prayer after seeing the photo of the corpse of 3 year old Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015; he was one of thousands of refugees who died fleeing the war in Syria. Sea Prayer is a short all-ages book which takes the form of a father writing a letter to his son describing idyllic life in Homs, Syria, before the conflict and then the nightmare it became after. I’m sure nobody reading this will interpret my low rating in this way but Khaled Hosseini was inspired to write Sea Prayer after seeing the photo of the corpse of 3 year old Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015; he was one of thousands of refugees who died fleeing the war in Syria. Sea Prayer is a short all-ages book which takes the form of a father writing a letter to his son describing idyllic life in Homs, Syria, before the conflict and then the nightmare it became after. I’m sure nobody reading this will interpret my low rating in this way but, to anyone who doesn’t know me, I’m not at all indifferent or uncaring about the plight of refugees or human suffering in general – this review is purely a reflection of my reading experience and nothing else. And, going by that alone, Sea Prayer is a very slight and unimpressive book. Sorry my dudes, gotta keeps it real! There’s barely any story, no characters, Hosseini’s writing is unengaging, vague, pseudo-poetic, and manipulatively sentimental, and the whole thing is entirely unmemorable. I can’t imagine this appealing to any kid, let alone them enjoying reading this, either. Dan Williams’ painted art is lovely and evocative but that’s about the only real standout aspect of Sea Prayer.
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