by Haya Saleh, Marcia Lynx Qualey (translator)
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Pub Date 06 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 13 Apr 2023
Levine Querido, Em Querido
Two brothers fight to reunite amidst the turmoil of the Syrian War.
Since the passing of their father, Omar has tried—and in his little brother Sufyan’s eyes, failed—to be the man of his family of Syrian refugees. As Omar waits in line for rations, longing for the books he left behind when his family fled their home, Sufyan explores more nontraditional methods to provide for his family. Ignoring his brother’s warnings, Sufyan gets more and more involved with a group that provides him with big rewards for doing seemingly inconsequential tasks.
When the group abruptly gets more intense—taking Sufyan and other boys away from their families, teaching them how to shoot guns—Sufyan realizes his brother is right. But is it too late for Sufyan to get out of this?
It’s left to the bookish Omar to rescue his brother and reunite his family. He will have to take charge and be brave in ways he has never dared to before.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 38 members
Let me be frank enough, *taking a deep breath... As some of you know how much I'm obsessed with books that are set in the Middle East, so it is obviously five stars for me😭🧡
Set in Syria, about two brothers, 15 Years-old Omar and 12 Years-old Sufyan, who are struggling in a refugee camp with their family but turn out to be separated from each other in the middle of a war and blockade. The grief feels so real, and the tension is evident, I could feel all the emotions filling the pages. I valued Sufyan as a younger brother of Omar but knows how to be responsible for his family and was quite clever even though he could be stubborn, moody, and childish at some point. Was not alike his old brother, Omar, who tends to be quiet and unattractive. He always feels that all responsibilities are in his hand yet he has no idea how to handle them... However, both brothers care for their family and have their own ways to be responsible.
There's this girl, 13 Years-old Salma, who is crushing on Omar, But look this book does not include any romantic theme but I feel I want to mention this Salma as every time Salma and Omar talk, they just seem so cute!
I would say this book is perfect for fans of The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christina Lefteri, but I agree that Wild Poppies is more emotional. I do love both books, by the way. I'm so glad to have a chance to read this book so thanks to Netgalley for this free copy!!
This book is a translated version and guess what? I will grab the original version which is in Arabic and have it on my shelf😻
“According to legend, whenever his blood was shed, these delicate red flowers sprang up.. It is hope...”
Loved the Book!
Wonderfully crafted the story of two brothers.
This was my last read of 2022 and was totally worth it!
The war in Syria seen through the eyes of two teenage boys, It's not a happy read, but a necessary one. From our safe places we have no idea what war is really like, we can't imagine how that feels. If we could we would be more understanding and less ready to send weapons or military into war zones.
I used to believe there was one kind of death, where the soul would leave the body. But here I had seen lots of kinds of death, and plenty of bodies without souls, even though the people in those bodies were still alive
A heartbreaking story about having your life upturned as war strikes a country through the innocent lenses of two brothers, Omar - 15 years old and Sufyan - 12 years old. The two Syrian brother take us through their journey of survival, forced to 'become men' and to take responsibilities for their families.
I started this book without reading the synopsis and the fact that it was a middle grade book came as a surprise to me.
I loved every aspect of this book, the portrayal of getting recruited in the name of Allah, the brainwashing, the innocent dreams of little boys to just bring ease in their mother's lives. Every detail about the terrorist organization is not new to me, tales of war-stricken countries have been openly discussed and shared.
I'm always left with deep sadness and empathy for the people who suffer just because #some people want their land and does not want to share' This is not just a Syrian story, this story is sadly a common tale of Palestine, Afghanistan and so many other countries, where people's lives are upturned because of political conflicts and cruel bombings, destroying millions of lives, taking millions of loved ones, leaving millions of people striving for the bare minimum necessities while the rest of the world is advancing. Forcing people to stop dreaming, stop living and just surviving.
Reading this book also reminded of a recent movie 'The Swimmers' which the same story with different context and different people.
Thank you to the author for writing such a simple story with a strong message, for sharing this with the world.
Thank you NetGalley for an e-ARC. All opinions are my own.
Thank you NetGalley/the publisher for providing me with this eARC in exchange for my honest review.
The book is middle grade fiction genre but the story was very heavy. I loved the storyline. I had to take a moment after reading a few parts. Overall it's really good and I would highly recommend it to everyone.
Poignant, straightforward storytelling! I felt that I was listening to these boys tell me their parts of the story with truth yet respect for the violence they had seen and experienced, as though they were giving the victims dignity and assuaging their trauma a little by using this simple style to tell as much as they could of the important parts. Even though this is fiction, it is real. It feels real. The author’s voice and plain style really work in this breathtaking, suspenseful novel. I haven’t read anything quite like it. Also, I’m a sensitive person, and the use of dual narrative helped me stay with this novel without becoming too overwhelmed to finish. It was nicely paced. Family bonds and love balance violence and hardship. Will be perfect for sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade readers, and any fans of Alan Gratz and historical fiction — even though this is sadly present day reality. Thank you, NetGalley, for the e-ARC.
Reading war-time accounts (fictional or non-fictional) is always heartbreaking, and this is even moreso when the perspective is a child's.
Wild Poppies is the story of two brothers who are separated amid the Syrian War. I personally found the writing to be very simple and at times lackluster, but I realize that this may be a product of the intended audience being middle schoolers. Despite the simplicity — and at times, the clunkiness from translation — there is no doubt that readers will find themselves engrossed with Omar and Sufyan's journeys, appreciating their growth and rooting for a better tomorrow.
This was a translated work of fiction and it was Arabic to English. This was very emotional and it really gives the reader a look at what those people went through in the Syrian war although it's fiction, to me it felt very real. This story is about the bombings and families struggles day by day. There are some trigger warnings in this story, Abuse, killings, bombing, starvation, kidnapping also but besides that this was a really intense and emotional read. I give this 5 stars.
wow, i don't even know how to start this review. Even though it's a middle grade book, while reading it it doesn't feel like middle grade because of the very heavy topics, but it was still very easy to get trough since the writing is middle grade.
I absolutely loved this story. I love that after Omar's POV we get to see Sufyan's POV and see what actually happened from his side. I also thought that Sufyan in his POV realizing that Omar and their mother were right about something earlier in Omar's POV was written very clever.
If you have the chance to get your hands on this book i'd say absolutely go for it. Even if you think you'd be thrown off by it because it's middle grade, it might pleasantly surprise you!
This is another of those kinds of stories where you feel like you are really only getting a snapshot of a person's life, rather than seeing them through from start to finish.
Sufyan and Omar are two boys trying to be men in the aftermath of their father's murder and the loss of their home during the Syrian War. Omar is book-smart, gentle, and even cautious to the point of cowardice sometimes. Sufyan is rash, confident, and a skilled hunter, but his impulsiveness and willingness to trust others leads him to make often foolish decisions. Both boys have strengths and weaknesses. Both of them are forced to grow up when the war separates them from their mother, sister, and each other.
This book is horrific in the sense that so many of the events that happen in the story-- the bombings, the murderers and the martyrs, the different sects of Islam clashing and shedding innocent blood, the children who were brainwashed into becoming soldiers-- all these things are real events that happened. Despite how hard this story is to read, I'm glad it's here, in the States, in English, for us to read too.