Home Is Beyond the Mountains

Home Is Beyond the Mountains

eBook - 2010
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Finalist for the IODE Violet Downey Book Award

Samira is only nine years old when the Turkish army invades northwestern Persia in 1918, and she and her parents, brother and baby sister are driven from their tiny village. Taking only what they can carry, they flee into the mountains, but the journey is so difficult that only Samira and her older brother, Benyamin, survive. When Samira finally arrives in a refugee camp, it is her friendship with another orphan, Anna, that pulls her out of her sadness. And when the two girls are given a toddler named Elias to care for, they form a new kind of family.

Over the years the children are shunted from one refugee camp to another, from Persia to Iraq and back again, and finally end up in an orphanage, where it seems that they will live out their childhood. Then a new orphanage director arrives -- Susan Shedd, a woman whose authority and energy Samira has never seen before.

And Samira's respect turns to amazement when Miss Shedd decides that she will take the three hundred children back to their home villages to make new lives for themselves. It will be a journey of three hundred miles, through the mountains, and it will be made on foot.

Publisher: Toronto [Ont.] : Groundwood Books, 2010
ISBN: 9781554981908
1554981905
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (224 p.) : maps

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lms Sep 29, 2010

This story, albeit long, provided many facts about the Assyrian Holocaust and insights about local customs, thinking and society of Persians living at the time. The reader rooted for Samira’s victory over despair and her ingenuity in surviving hardships on the marches with very few supplies. The missionary Susan Shedd was finely drawn and her compassion for her charges was quite moving. I would recommend this to readers who like history and survivalist adventures.

quagga Jul 01, 2010

n 1918, war forced nine-year-old Samira and her family to leave their home in an Assyrian village in northern Iran, fleeing for their lives on foot. Only Samira and her older brother Benyamin survived. They lived in refugee camps and orphanages for five years, and then walked home. Their journey from start to finish covered thousands of kilometres. It is an amazing story and it is based on true events.

Samira is a believable character and I enjoyed the many details of her daily life, the vivid setting and emotional power of the story. The map at the front showing the route the children travelled was a helpful addition.

Give this to readers in Grade 4 - 8 who are interested in the lives of young people in other parts of the world.

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