"Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp"--
Advanced Readers Copy provided by Dial Books for Young Readers.
Started my re-read with the audio book version and was absolutely gutted. The readers are so perfectly on point, and somehow hearing a voice tell this story made it impossible to set my grief over Omar's story aside to focus on the plot. Finished by going back to the paper version. I think the visual context provided by the graphic novel adds a whole layer of humor, loving glances, and reassurances that the characters are surviving despite their circumstances.
When Stars Are Scattered is a graphic novel that explains in heartbreaking, but not overwhelming, detail to children (and adults) what the experience is like.
Based on a true story, I am eager to share this book with my library patrons. I admire you, Omar Mohamed, for sharing your story. Victoria Jamieson, thank you for putting Omar's story into a form that children understand.
What a book!
This story is filled with both heartbreak & hope and based on a true story. Omar & his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp in Kenya after escaping from their war-ravaged home in Somalia. Omar finds strength in his
The story is powerful and tells a remarkable story in a way that young people can understand. It tackles some seriously tough topics like war, extreme hunger, and arranged marriages. This book would be a great choice for a class read and give teachers and students a chance to explore the difficult themes together.
The residents have established a school for the children such as it is. Art class consists of making elephants our of mud. Yet, Omar and his friends realize that they can increase their families’ painfully slim chances at being chosen for resettlement in America or Canada by attending school.
I didn’t realize the book was based on real people and real circumstances until I read the afterword. The author’s notes go into greater detail about Mohamed’s life, how the two met and decided to collaborate, which elements of the story are fictitious, and how to help other refugees through an organization Omar established.
This story reminded me in a very vivid way, the plight of many children in this world of unrest.
It's one of those good reminders. We may have frustrating political and social issues, but most of us have food to eat, a roof over our head, and chances to better ourselves that others in the world don't.
Based on the true life story of the author, who was a refugee from war torn Samolia.
e and his brother remained in the
Losing their mother when they ran for their lives, both children cried, and never lost hope they would one day find her.
This is one of the best books I've read in 2020!
Eventually they arrived in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Food was very scarce there, medical care non-existant, violence and theft rampant. There was no one to care for them except for their elderly adopted mother Fatuma. While she loved and supported the boys, she often could not help their physical needs – often they all went to bed with only a cup of water in their stomachs.
The refugee camps are supposed to be a temporary solution, but days turn into years. Eventually Omar was given a chance to go to school. He didn't know English, the language of the multi-national school and was afraid to leave his brother Hasan during the days. He knew Hasan wouldl never be able to understand Omar’s absence each day, although Fatuma looked after him as best she could in the dangerous camp. And yet he knew that school would provide his best hope for the future.
This fictionalized memoir is sad and funny and feels very true.
Eye opening and heartbreaking. There is a lot of text in the graphic novel.
It's richly drawn and a compelling story. There is an afterward from Omar about his life after the book ends.
"In a refugee camp life is always the same, except when it isn't."
Based on a true story, this was an incredibly compelling read. Omar's story shows the very real difficulties of living in a refugee camp (e.g., crowded spaces, lack of food, etc.) but balances that with the small victories and hopes (e.g., neighbors who are like family, a chance to go to school, etc.). Life is made that much harder for Omar because his brother Hassan has an unspecified disability that is of concern, especially because he has a past history of seizures.
All of the characters felt real, which makes sense being based on true events, and I felt for all of them in different ways. This book did bring me to tears in several places. That being said, it is well worth the read and the bits that might make readers uncomfortable are exactly the reasons why they should be reading this book. The end has a call for action for young readers to get motivated to help refugees in their communities and around the world.
The illustrations are quite beautiful, especially the scenic backgrounds of the night sky. The illustrations of the characters also helps tell the story by bringing forth their emotions.
“Those who are lost
look to the stars to
lead them home.
The flag of Somalia. Our home
has one star, one background.
But we are not one star. We are millions. Not one background, but millions.
To the untrained eye, the night sky is a scattering of stars, a chaos of light and dark across the universe.
And yet, the stars are not lost.
They form patterns. Constellations. If you know how to look, there are stories woven into the very essense of stars.
Be like a star. Shine your light. Shine your story. For stories will lead us home.”
Life in the camp is tough, especially for young Omar. His brother doesn′t speak and has seizures, so Omar must watch him while also getting water every day, rations every other week, and firewood for the woman in a nearby tent who cooks for them. When a man befriends Omar and offers to help him start school (fifth grade, so Omar can be with age peers), his world suddenly has possibilities and hope.
When Stars are Scattered is the story of brothers, friendship, war, the kindness of strangers, and the transformative power of education. The artwork is spot-on, and the bold outlines and color convey a childlike simplicity that is appealing, while the story itself deals with complex emotions and difficult issues such as child marriage and the world′s response to the refugee crisis. I highly recommend this book, even if you aren′t sure about graphic novels.
Omar loves to learn and often relishes tutoring from children who attend school. Omar is given an opportunity to enroll in school and hesitates. How will this effect Hassan? Does it affect the chances of relocation?
This audio book is PHENOMENAL! Listing to it was like listing to a movie. The full cast and sound effects really brought this story to life. I found myself double checking for cars as I was walking or children as I was driving. The end of the book has an epilogue and authors notes that one must listen to.
When Stars Are Scattered started as a juvenile graphic novel. I was able to order it through MeL Cat and am stoked for it to come in.
This book touches on: bullying, child starvation, sports, education, homelessness, foster care, death, child marriage, migration, and war.
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
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.