The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

by Don Brown


$16.99 $18.99 Save 11% Current price is $16.99, Original price is $18.99. You Save 11%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Sibert Honor Medalist ∙ New York Public Library Best Of 2018 ∙ The Horn Book’s Fanfare 2018 list ∙ Kirkus Best Books of 2018 ∙ YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Winner

In the tradition of two-time Sibert honor winner Don Brown’s critically acclaimed, full-color nonfiction graphic novels The Great American Dust Bowl and Drowned City, The Unwanted is an important, timely, and eye-opening exploration of the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, exposing the harsh realities of living in, and trying to escape, a war zone.

Starting in 2011, refugees flood out of war-torn Syria in Exodus-like proportions. The surprising flood of victims overwhelms neighboring countries, and chaos follows. Resentment in host nations heightens as disruption and the cost of aid grows. By 2017, many want to turn their backs on the victims. The refugees are the unwanted.
     Don Brown depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Shining a light on the stories of the survivors, The Unwanted is a testament to the courage and resilience of the refugees and a call to action for all those who read.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The author of Drowned City again humanizes a story that can seem remote and incomprehensible: this time, the Syrian refugee crisis. Brown outlines the conflict, going back almost a decade: teenagers protested nonviolently, the government responded with brutal repression, the violence spread, other forces entered the conflict. A wave of Syrians sought refuge in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan (“Just walk. Don’t breathe”); later, more attempted, at the hands of unscrupulous smugglers, to cross the Mediterranean in the hope of reaching Germany and Sweden. Eventually, “Europe sees sympathy for Syrian refugees fall.” Brown does not fictionalize (an appendix includes extensive source notes and references), and he pulls no punches: “I tried to catch my wife and children in my arms,” says a grief-stricken man floating in the ocean, “But one by one, they drowned.” In one hopeful example, a 10-year-old makes it to safety in Canada, where she “takes up skating and enjoys Halloween,” but hundreds of thousands of others languish in camps. In loosely drawn panels, Brown captures the migrants as they march over land or huddle in boats, zeroing in on their expressions of fear and exhaustion as he documents the way war’s effects spread far beyond the battlefield.Final art not seen by PW. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.)

From the Publisher

"[Brown] succeeds in offering a window into the humanity of displaced groups—their resilience and tenacity but also their inspiring, hopeful nature. The pen-and-ink digitally colored art has a loose, informal style that vividly expresses the intense emotions contained in the book. A moving chronicle of a real humanitarian tragedy."--Kirkus, STARRED review

"Brown provides concrete comparisons that make the problem more tangible and relatable...The varied panels perfectly control the pacing, thoughtfully guiding readers through difficult subject matter."--Horn Book Magazine, STARRED review

"This accessible and heartbreaking primer, with its stirring simplicity and a note of hope, should be required reading for all teens hoping to be empathetic and engaged world citizens."--School Library Journal, STARRED review

"The author of Drowned City again humanizes a story that can seem remote and incomprehensible: this time, the Syrian refugee crisis."--Publishers Weekly

An unflinching look at the Syrian refugee crisis...this is no elegy; rather, it's a call for action and acknowledgment the world over."--Booklist

Few will fail to be moved by direct quotes from the refugees as they capture readers directly with their troubled eyes: “The future is not for us. The future is for our children.” --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—In the spring of 2011, a group of teenage boys are imprisoned and tortured for spray-painting "Down with the regime" on a Syrian wall. Thousands of citizens who rise up in protest are met by tanks and snipers. The demonstrations and violence escalate, and civil war breaks out in Syria. Unsure of their chances for survival but certain of the dangers at home, thousands of refugees flee to surrounding areas. Blocks of text provide context about Syria's civil war, as well as commentary on the international response, with supporting maps and charts seamlessly incorporated into the story. The loose linework reflects the chaos, and the full-color art depicts a muted sepia and blue gray palette, with touches of brighter hues for effect. Violence is freely but not gratuitously shown, and death is depicted only rarely. The back matter includes an extensive bibliography, with citations for the numerous quotes used in the dialogue, as well as a journal summary of Brown's 2017 trip to Syrian camps in Greece, complete with pictures and source notes. VERDICT This accessible and heartbreaking primer, with its stirring simplicity and a note of hope, should be required reading for all teens hoping to be empathetic and engaged world citizens.—Alea Perez, Westmont Public Library, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328810151
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 09/18/2018
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 91,456
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews