SEA PRAYER by Khaled Hosseini
Kirkus Star

SEA PRAYER

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 10 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A poignant letter written by a fearful Syrian father to his son on the eve of a treacherous sea crossing to Europe.

Commemorating the third anniversary of the death of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi, whose lifeless body, captured on camera, washed up on shore in September 2015, sparking worldwide outrage, this intensely moving story opens with the father’s recollection of the family’s peaceful life in Homs, Syria, before the city was turned into a deadly war zone. Writing in the first person, Hosseini successfully contrasts the father’s Homs, a bustling and lively city before the war, with the one his son has known, a ravaged city marked with bombings, starvation, and burials. The contrast is rendered through Hosseini’s unmatchable lyrical style—but also effectively portrayed on a graphic level through a pronounced change in Williams’ palette, warm greens and ochers modulating to slate-blues and grays in the loose, affecting watercolors. The second portion of the letter is a prayer for a safe journey. It is powerfully evocative of the plight in which displaced populations find themselves, having to undertake a journey known to be unsafe—yet, for many, it is an option they cannot afford not to take. The book reads like an emotional gut-punch…an excruciating one. It is impossible to read without feeling intense compassion for those—and there are thousands—whose lives resemble those of the characters in the book.

Powerful. (Picture book. 10-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-525-53909-4
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2018




11 BOOKS FEATURED IN OUR FALL PREVIEW :

FictionUNSHELTERED by Barbara Kingsolver
by Barbara Kingsolver
NonfictionLEADERSHIP by Doris Kearns Goodwin
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
NonfictionTHE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean
by Susan Orlean
NonfictionONE PERSON, NO VOTE by Carol Anderson
by Carol Anderson
ChildrenMERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS by Meg Medina
by Meg Medina

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for MUSE OF NIGHTMARES
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for GRENADE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for DRY
VERDICT:
BUY IT

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

AdultA HAND FULL OF STARS by Rafik Schami
by Rafik Schami
ChildrenMAMA'S NIGHTINGALE by Edwidge Danticat
by Edwidge Danticat