Refugee (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Spanning across three eras of civil unrest and war, this timely middle-grade thriller is about three families fleeing violence in their home countries. I would love to see Refugee as required reading for all ages. Three central characters: Josef, from 1940s Germany; Isabel, from 1990s Cuba; and Mahmoud, from present day Syria, are at once courageous and fearful and so very human. Gratz captured the true-to-life violence these families went through with painstaking research. Refugee is, simply put, captivating and necessary.

— From Refugee, by Alan Gratz


JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.

This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.

About the Author

Alan Gratz is the acclaimed author of several books for young readers, including Refugee; Projekt 1065, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016; Prisoner B-3087, a Junior Library Guild selection that was named to YALSA's 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list; Code of Honor, a YALSA 2016 Quick Pick; and The Brooklyn Nine, which was among Booklist's Top Ten Historical Books. Alan lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter. Look for him online at

Product Details
ISBN: 9780545880831
ISBN-10: 0545880831
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Pages: 352
Language: English