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.
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.
Andre's family was resettled in Ecuador after rebels stormed their village in Colombia. Although they were safe, life wasn’t easy and Andre’s father had a hard time finding work. Suffering discrimination in their country of refuge, and with the situation improved in Colombia since the 2016 peace deal, his family makes the decision to return home. There, they work hard to regain their life and are reunited with a brother and son who had been taken by rebels. Readers get vital insight into how some refugees return to their homelands when—and if—it is safe to do so.
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.
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.
Memories of fleeing war in Iraq, living in the refugee camp in Jordan, and the scary journey to the United States now seem far away to Zainab. But every day, as she attends school, plays sports, and participates in community groups in her new home in Dearborn, Michigan, she is aware that she will always be part of two cultures. Interwoven with facts about Iraq’s conflict and the experiences of Iraqi refugees around the world, Zainab’s story offers a thoughtful and unique look at the challenges—and triumphs—faced and experienced by refugees in their new homes.