LONGLIST REVIEW: Welcome to Nowhere

Omar is happy, growing up in his homeland of Syria. Bosna, his town, is a vibrant place to live and Omar is determined to become a successful businessman, like his cousin, Rasoul. On the other hand, his older brother, Musa, who has cerebral palsy, is starting to become interested and involved in politics.

When students in Daraa write an anti-governemnt slogan on the wall of their school, the backlash is swift and harsh and trouble quickly spreads to Bosna. Life for Omar and his family changes dramatically.

Forced to flee their homeland with what little they can carry, Omar and his family find themselves refugees. Life will never be the same again...

Elizabeth Laird is an incredible author. In 'Welcome to Nowhere', she has created, first and foremost a believable family. We come to know and understand the characters as people- people like you and me with hopes, dreams, family and lives. When this is then taken away from them and they find themselves in inhuman circumstances, we still know them as those people we care about- exactly how we should view all refugees- as people like ourselves. 

The story is heart breaking and at times, a difficult read, but Elizabeth Laird never shies away from writing about the truth. She has drawn on her first hand experiences of volunteering in refugee camps in Jordan to write this story, making it all the more realistic.

This is a very poignant, special book which is beautifully written. Essential reading.

Welcome to Nowhere   Elizabeth Laird

Macmillan Children's Books   ISBN: 978-1509840472