Baseema’s family was nearly torn apart by the terrorist violence of Boko Haram in her homeland of Nigeria. Forced to flee their farm, they relied on friends of her father for a home and support. Still unable to return, the family moves again to Kano, the second largest city in Nigeria, and struggles to survive. Baseema’s story gives a glimpse of how many refugees rely on extended networks of family and friends and how, with education disrupted, young women are often forced to marry early.
From conflict-torn Somalia, to the massive Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya, and finally to a new home in Sweden, Fatuma’s family is used to constant change. Still, Sweden's cold winters and difficult language have required a lot of adjustment. There is hope, but also fear. Fatuma’s story gives readers a glimpse of how, even in countries that accept refugees, not everyone is fully accepting.
Threatened by gangs and everyday violence, Benito’s family flees El Salvador to an uncertain but safer life in Mexico. They are later joined by Auntie Lara, who lost a son to gang violence and joined a migrant caravan heading to the United States. The story is interwoven with details on how violence in countries whose governments no longer function make a safe life impossible, continuing the cycle of refugees heading to Central and North America.
Etienne is a former child soldier from the Democratic Republic of Congo with a secret fear he will never be safe. His father and brother are missing and presumed dead. After he escapes his captors, his mother decides they have lost enough. They are lucky enough to have family in Canada and are reunited with them as refugees. The story is interspersed with facts about the trauma some refugees deal with and the uncertain welcome from countries struggling with opposition to refugees.
Zahra’s family left Iran because of political persecution and found a new home in Australia. She will never forget her early years as a refugee, from learning English to navigating transportation. But Zahra is now 100 percent Aussie, and keen to finish university and make her mark on her adopted home. The story includes details on how refugees contribute to their new homes culturally, socially, and financially.
Roj and his family have lived in Germany for three years after fleeing civil war in Syria. Although his family faces discrimination from some in their small village, and hearing news about home from friends and family can be sad, Roj’s dreams for the future are high as he faces each new challenge with hope and resilience. Interspersed with facts about the current situation in Syria and the experiences of Syrian refugees in different countries, Roj’s story offers a window into the complex and ongoing journey of refugees as they adjust to their new homes.
Martinez longs for the happy, stable home he had in Guatemala—before gang violence forced them to flee to Mexico. And now, he is being uprooted again. His mother has decided they must return to Guatemala to take care of the extended family. Martinez is scared to return—but the love of his family and support of his new rural community in Guatemala gives him hope for a future without violence. Paired with facts about the instability in Guatemala and the experience of displaced persons there, Martinez’s story offers a unique look at the fear—and resilience—refugees experience when they must return home.