From Far Away

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

A children's book that introduces the possible issues of a young refugee to a new country.  What Canadians consider normal may be frightening to those new to our culture, especially those who endured the hardships of war.
Was this review helpful?
'From Far Away' by Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar with art by Rebecca Green is a picture book about a young immigrant girl in a new country.

The book is based on the experiences of the author Saoussan Askar.  When her home country (which is not named) became less safe to live in, her parents made the choice to move to Canada.  There were things she didn't like at first, like the long plane ride, or the fact that she couldn't understand the teacher in her new school.  The other kids try to help her, but the language barrier makes it difficult.  She wants to quit school.  Will she ever fit in?

This is a good book to read younger children who may have immigrant classmates.  It talks about how strange and sometimes scary a new place can be.  The illustrations are very nice and fit well with the story.

Saoussan originally published the book in 1995 when she was still young.  A note from the author today tells what she has done in the time since the book was published.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Annick Press Ltd. and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
Was this review helpful?
It’s important to remember, this is a sad story.

A sad story based on a sad reality. Saoussan cannot speak English when she goes to school, making it extremely difficult to communicate. She crawls out of the classroom to go to the restroom, unsure how to ask if she can go. She becomes frightful of a Halloween skeleton decoration.

When Saoussan sees her first teacher at the mall, she runs and hugs her. The scene tugs at your heart. It causes you to feel compassion for the child and the whole situation. This is why From Far Away is an important children’s book.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed the honest depiction and truth found in Saoussan Askar's culture shock and coping with the change that took place for her. It's a good conversation starter for introducing other points of view to elementary age children.
Was this review helpful?
This story was originally published in 1995 and illustrated by Michael Martchenko. This re-release has been illustrated by Rebecca Green.

This is a timely story with all the immigrants and refugees that have moved to North America over the past 10 years or so. It tells realistically about the fears and struggles of seven year old Saoussan Askar a refugee from Lebanon. She wrote a letter to Robert Munsch about her move and transition to Canada and together they wrote this story. It shows ways that others made her feel welcome and is a model to our young children today. The illustrations show how the classroom population is diverse in ethnicity as well as including a child in a wheelchair. A wonderful story to share with young people today.
Was this review helpful?
This story of immigration is told from the perspective of a small girl using simple language which other small children will easily understand.  Though the concept of being a victim of war and circumstance, similar to a refugee, is not a common theme in picture books, the author's autobiographic account allow for an emotional connection between the character in the book and the reader.

The universal struggles the girl faces including isolation and loneliness, regardless of age or background, making this a story with a wide range of appeal across many reader populations.
Was this review helpful?
Pub: 8/8/17
Like: Art, smooth transition, imagery of dark skin woman on cover, showing difficulties that a kid who is not from America would deal with (skeleton)
Was this review helpful?
From Far Away is a beautiful story about a young girl immigrating to Canada with her family. It is told from her point of view and in her voice, which makes the experiences she describes so powerful. The illustrator deftly evokes emotions with her lovely illustrations. This book will help classmates feel empathy towards newcomers. It is a must have title for every school library.
Was this review helpful?
This is the true story of a little girl coming to a new world.  Her new world does not have bombs and guns going off, but it does have strange languages, and scary paper skeleton.  I love how this books makes being new easy for others to understand.  It does not try to talk down to the kids it’s meant for, or be too complicated for them to understand.  It is a true tale every one should read.
Was this review helpful?
Author Saoussan Askar was just a child when this story was published in 1995, but it's a powerful message. My family is Lebanese, and the war is a difficult topic. It's hard to fit into a new place when you don't speak the language or understand the customs, but Askar shared her story to show other children that even though it's hard at first, eventually you adapt and learn and make new friends. I love her voice, and the diversity of the other people in the story. I'm always on the lookout for good books to share with my niece, and I'd definitely purchase this one for her.
Was this review helpful?
Reprint: Askar wrote a letter to children's book author and illustrator. Together they turned it into this picture book that portrays the plight of refugees as they acclimatize to their new country.
Was this review helpful?
This wonderful children's story provides a much needed message to Canadians about welcoming young refugees into a country unfamiliar to them, promoting more understanding and acceptance!
Was this review helpful?
This book will help students to gain empathy for students of different cultures as it is told from the perspective of a refugee.
Was this review helpful?
We have here a vitally important picture book, sharing the message of inclusivity and belonging, combined with art and color pallets that are undeniable in their beauty. Count me in!
Was this review helpful?
From Far Away is a timely tale of the struggles of refugee children and families. This book would be an excellent picture book pairing with Refugee by Alan Gratz for upper elementary classrooms. I can see this being an excellent window and mirror book for classrooms across the country.
Was this review helpful?
Came to this picture book for Rebecca Green, I cannot lie, but the story moved me as much as the illustration did, if not more. The original story was written in 1995, but is still highly relevant today's refugee crisis. As in the UK children who are refugees are often allowed to live in the UK, though are often separated from their parents. In the context of the UK, I think this book would make an impact in how Saoussan's parents are supporting her throughout the novel and through school, and shows the major importance they have in her life, which should be obvious but some British Politicians are yet to be taught basic humanity.
Was this review helpful?
I love the idea of this children's book coming from a real letter. Great art as well.
Was this review helpful?
"So far, my favorite part of grade two is the trip our class took to the zoo. We got to see the pandas and monkeys and eat pizza and nobody shot at us the whole time."

This a poinient story of a refugee, as told by the refugee to Robert Munich, after she had been in the country for about two years.  It is very simple, but to the point.  Being married to a former refugee, the quote above says it all, that you can go out, and not get shot at is a big deal about moving to a new country.

Great book to introduce children to the concept of refugees, and why they have to immigrate.

This was first written in 1996, and now, in 2017, there is a new afterward by the co-author, Saoussan, what has happened to her in the 11 years since the book first was written.


Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?