When Stars Are Scattered
by Jamieson, Victoria; Mohamed, Omar; Geddy, Iman (ILT)






"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 offamily and daily life in a refugee camp"-





Victoria Jamieson is the creator of the graphic novels All's Faire in Middle School and Newbery Honor winner Roller Girl. She received her BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked as a children's book designer before becoming a freelance illustrator. She has also worked as a portrait artist aboard a cruise ship, and has lived in Australia, Italy, and Canada. Now she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son.

Omar Mohamed spent his childhood at the Dadaab camp, after his father was killed and he was separated from his mother in Somalia. He devoted everything to taking care of his younger brother, Hassan, and to pursuing his education. He now lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with his wife and five children, and works at a center to help resettle other refugees. He is the founder of Refugee Strong, a non-profit organization that empowers students living in refugee camps.

Iman Geddy, the colorist for this book, is an Atlanta-based designer and illustrator who is passionate about using the graphic arts for social good. Inspired by the geometric harmony of Islamic architecture as well as the colorful equatorial landscapes of eastern Africa, she creates striking art that highlights the beauty of the world around us.





*Starred Review* Omar Mohamed was a child when soldiers attacked his village in Somalia. Separated from his parents, he and his younger brother, Hassan, eventually made their way to Dadaab, a crowded refugee camp in Kenya where he now spends his days scrambling for food and taking care of Hassan, who is nonverbal and suffers from debilitating seizures. A chance to attend school is a dream come true, but the opportunity weighs heavily on Omar; school is a selfish choice when you have no parents and a brother who needs constant looking after. Debut author Mohamed shares his absorbing story with absolute honesty, laying bare every aspect of his life's many challenges; even after surviving unimaginable circumstances, he remains compassionate-to others as well as himself. While Mohamed's story is riveting in its own right, the illustrations bring warmth and depth to the tale. Drawing with evident empathy and deep respect, Jamieson captures the many significant moments in Mohamed's life with charming detail. Wonderfully expressive figures convey complex and conflicted emotions, and the rich colors imbue the story with life. Mohamed's experience is unfortunately not unique, but it is told with grace, humility, and forgiveness. This beautiful memoir is not to be missed. Grades 6-8. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.





A Somali boy living in a refugee camp in Kenya tries to make a future for himself and his brother in this near memoir interpreted as a graphic novel by collaborator Jamieson. Omar Mohamed lives in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya with his younger brother, Hassan, who has a seizure disorder, and Fatuma, an elderly woman assigned to foster them in their parents' absence. The boys' father was killed in Somalia's civil war, prompting them to flee on foot when they were separated from their mother. They desperately hope she is still alive and looking for them, as they are for her. The book covers six years, during which Omar struggles with decisions about attending school and how much hope to have about opportunities to resettle in a new land, like the United States. Through Omar's journey, and those of his friends and family members, readers get a close, powerful view of the trauma and uncertainty that attend life as a refugee as well as the faith, love, and support from unexpected quarters that get people through it. Jamieson's characteristically endearing art, warmly colored by Geddy, perfectly complements Omar's story, conjuring memorable and sympathet ic characters who will stay with readers long after they close the book. Photographs of the brothers and an afterword provide historical context; Mohamed and Jamieson each contribute an author's note. This engaging, heartwarming story does everything one can ask of a book, and then some. (Graphic memoir. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





A Somali boy living in a refugee camp in Kenya tries to make a future for himself and his brother in this near memoir interpreted as a graphic novel by collaborator Jamieson. Omar Mohamed lives in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya with his younger brother, Hassan, who has a seizure disorder, and Fatuma, an elderly woman assigned to foster them in their parents' absence. The boys' father was killed in Somalia's civil war, prompting them to flee on foot when they were separated from their mother. They desperately hope she is still alive and looking for them, as they are for her. The book covers six years, during which Omar struggles with decisions about attending school and how much hope to have about opportunities to resettle in a new land, like the United States. Through Omar's journey, and those of his friends and family members, readers get a close, powerful view of the trauma and uncertainty that attend life as a refugee as well as the faith, love, and support from unexpected quarters that get people through it. Jamieson's characteristically endearing art, warmly colored by Geddy, perfectly complements Omar's story, conjuring memorable and sympathet ic characters who will stay with readers long after they close the book. Photographs of the brothers and an afterword provide historical context; Mohamed and Jamieson each contribute an author's note. This engaging, heartwarming story does everything one can ask of a book, and then some. (Graphic memoir. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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