HOME IS BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS by Celia Barker Lottridge


Age Range: 9 - 14
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In 1918, when the Turkish army invades Persia, nine-year-old Samira and her Assyrian family must flee to the south, seeking protection from the British. Along the way, Samira’s mother and sister die, her father disappears and is feared dead and only Samira and her brother Benyamin reach the Baqubah Refugee Camp. With so much loss in so many people’s lives, family and home at the camp take on new meanings. Samira meets Anna, and together they come to care for a little boy named Elias; in a future caravan journey, their makeshift family expands to become the Rooftop Family (for the cultural practice of sleeping on rooftops in fine weather). Based on Lottridge’s family stories, this is a moving tale of family, home, hope and survival. Though the third-person point of view is distancing, lending an oddly unemotional tone to the early portion of the tale, Samira is a girl readers will long remember, and this volume is a good match with other stories of children caught up in war, such as Suzanne Fisher Staples’s Under the Persimmon Tree (2005). (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88899-932-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2010