Alan Gratz’s new middle-grade novel ‘Refugee’ follows three different kids with one common mission: escape.
Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930’s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world… Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety and freedom in America… Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe…
All three young people will go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers–from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But for each of them, there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, surprising connections will tie their stories together in the end.
A starred review in Kirkus says “Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant… Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure and suspense.”
Alan was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. After a carefree but humid childhood, Alan attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing, and later, a Master’s degree in English education.
He now lives with his wife Wendi and his daughter Jo in the high country of Western North Carolina where he enjoys playing games, eating pizza and, perhaps not too surprisingly, reading books. His first middle grade novel, ‘The Brooklyn Nine’, was one of the ALA’s Top Ten Sports Books for Youth and Top Ten Historical Books for Youth, and his middle grade Holocaust novel ‘Prisoner B-3087’ was one of YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Readers and has won seven state awards.