Cover Image: My Name is Konisola

My Name is Konisola

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Member Reviews

This book is a good starting point to introduce the topic of what it means to be a refugee. It is excellent for teaching perspective taking, kindness, patience, and empathy. Suitable for grade 4 and up with conversation support, grade 6 and up without.

The book isn't terribly deep or emotional, though it may trigger more sensitive individuals.
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One of the most hard-hitting reads so far. I can trust in people again. Because I sincerely believe that this book is based on real life events (but it's not written anywhere) but I believe this 'fiction' happened. 
The characters are so endearing and realistic. The main themes tackled in this small book are regarding refugees, abuse, adoption, dealing with chronic illness and death. Some parts do represent bullying and hint rascist discrimination. Such big issues are handled sensibly well. The story is sad and devastating yet it is warm and hopeful. I can relate to this book so much. How the little girl and the found families had to deal with terminal cancer of a loved one. This book has been written so well. It gives me hope. No matter how small a thing can be but I will always try to be this stranger who accepts another person in times of need. Not all blood is family.  It's this kind of found family that matters in the end. I absolutely loved this book.
Thank you so much #NetGalley for the arc of #MyNameisKonisola
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Unless you have lived the experience it is extremely difficult to understand what it is like to have to leave your home at a moments notice and fly off to a distant country and start a new life.  My Name is Konisola by Alisa Siegel is an incredibly powerful book that puts the reader in the shoes of Konisola, a refugee from Nigeria.

When Konisola and her mother Abimbola have to leave Nigeria without warning they end up on a plane to Canada.  They don’t know anyone who lives here and they have no idea what to expect when they arrive.  Thanks to the kindness of complete strangers they have a place to stay when they first arrive.  Unfortunately, their arrival in Canada is not the end of the road for mother and daughter as Abimbola falls ill and is hospitalized leaving Konisola alone trying to navigate living in a strange place.  Fortunately, there are a number of people whose kindness protect Konisola and Abimbola and ensure that they are never completely alone.

My Name is Konisola is a true story and an honest account of what it’s like to be a refugee.  It’s an incredible mirror books for children who have experienced the uncertainty of having to pack up and leave everything they have known.  This book is a fantastic window book to teach children about the experiences of those who may be classmates and friends.  It is a beautiful story of generosity and the kindness of strangers, how one person can make a significant difference in another’s life when they act with empathy and hospitality.
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Konisola and her mother flee Nigeria for the safety of Canada where life is very different.  Konisola must adjust to the newness of it all: the cold weather, food, people and being apart from her mother.  Will this place ever be her "home" and the kind strangers that care for her and her mother her "family?" This is an immigrant story that will tug at your heart.
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I received this e-ARC for free from NetGalley and Second Story Press, and am leaving this review voluntarily.

In Nigeria, a nine-year-old's entire life is uprooted when her mother decides they are leaving the home of Konisola's abusive uncle. Konisola is confused and doesn't want to leave her friends and her school. She becomes even more confused when they arrive in Canada and have to try to navigate a whole new world with the help of some kind strangers. Unfortunately, Konisola's mother Abimbola is hospitalized with colon cancer soon after they arrive in Canada and she needs to decide where Konisola will live if she doesn't make it. Abimbola is adamant that Konisola does not return to her uncle's home in Nigeria. This story emphasizes a refugee's desire to protect her daughter at all costs and Konisola's confused understanding of what is going on in this new place gives a realistic take on the refugee child's experience.

I will plan to purchase this one for my library. I wish the setting had been in the United States instead of Canada as my readers are in the U.S., though the themes are universal and students will appreciate seeing their stories reflected in Konisola's life.
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Konisola and her leave their country due to fear for their lives. They travel to Canada where Konisola's mom begins treatment for cancer. Her illness leaves Konisola's with her future forever family. This is based on a true story. The struggle and love between mother and daughter will leave you with tears. The years will become tears both of sadness and not for the future of this strong, determined girl.  I recommend this book with full confidence!
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Konisola and her mother leave Nigeria to find refuge in Toronto, Canada. Upon arrival, they ask for asylum. A kind stranger in the airport offers to let them spend a few nights at her home, and the immigration officer allows them to enter Canada. 

Konisola, only nine years old, speaks some English, but she doesn’t understand why they had to leave home and all her friends to come to a new country. Maybe it has something to do with her mother’s disappearance. 

Shortly after arriving, Konisola’s mother faints while in a drugstore. From there, life spins out of control for a lost and lonely little girl.

This true story of one immigrant girl’s experience will open the reader’s eyes to the hurdles one must overcome in order to immigrate to Canada. Language, new customs, boredom, and living in limbo all plague Konisola. When the unthinkable happens, kind strangers step in and help Konisola navigate life in a new country.

Teachers, students, and parents will all benefit from reading Konisola’s story of immigration. Without good-hearted people, the immigrant experience would terrify even the most brave-hearted person. The story makes an excellent discussion starter on refugees, immigrants, and legislation.
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It's hard to say I enjoyed this book as so many parts were really sad but I think this tells you something about the quality of the writing. I genuinely felt for these characters, as if they were real and theirs was a story I was hearing from a friend. Read it in one short sitting but still thinking about it long after.
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This is a story that will tear your heart and and jump up and down on it. 

I have been crying through most of the book.

Konisola and her mother have to escape from NIgeria because her uncle is abusing her mother, who had to move in with him when her husband died. They escape to Canada, but they have nothing. No one to live with, no one to speak out for them. they are refugees.

It is a hard life, but people take pity on them, and Konnnie (Konisola) finds hope.

There is goodness as well as sadness.

And, it appears to be based on a real person. A real girl who became a refugee in Canada. 

Written at the middle-grade level it would be a good book for youth as well as adults to read. 

Even though you will be in tears from it.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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My Name is Konisola

by Alisa Siegel 

Second Story Press 

Children's Fiction , Middle Grade 

Pub Date 03 Mar 2020 



I am reviewing a copy of My Name is Konisola through Second Story Press and Netgalley:

Konisola and her Mother step off a plane and into Canada on a freezing cold winter night, having fled Nigeria. They were running for their lives as at home they were under the threat of a family member who wanted to harm them.


But when it is discovered that Konisola's Mother is sick with Cancer, and is hospitalized, Konisola must stay with strangers, at first a lady who never lets her leave the house and go to school. but soon she is sent to Darlene's a lady who gives her everything she needs especially love, but the question arises if she will be allowed to stay in the country, and with Darlene after her Mother dies>


Will Konisola be allowed to stay with Darlene and her family, find out in My Name is Konisola.


I give My Name Is Konisola five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!
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Thank you so much to Second Story Press who provided me with an E-Arc through NetGalley to read and review of My Name is Konisola written by Alisa Siegel. 

A heartbreaking but beautiful story. 

This story was so sad, the things that Konisola had to endure in her short life she’d had were those that you’d wish to shelter your kids from. Living through family death, abuse, relocating and starting her life again in a foreign land. 

It was written so well and is such a vital story for children to read, to teach them what refugee children have to go through and how hard it is for them. You very rarely find a story that features these topics, not being afraid to show children a harsher and more serious topic.

I loved that she built up a whole new family in Canada who gathered at her side no matter what who were there to love and protect her as one of their own, to comfort her and help her settle into this new and scary world. Caring for her with her mom being really sick in the hospital. 

Konisola was such a sweet little girl, she was very brave and strong and I loved that her mom had given her the strength she had by telling her of the Nigerian Queens, wanting her little girl to be independent. She was so caring towards her mom and it pained me reading of her mom being so unwell and Konnie being separated from her. 

I am so saddened that this was a real story, but also so happy that Konnie got a happier life after all she’d been through. It was a beautifully written story that had so many raw emotions and you feel them on every page you read. I also loved getting to see her in the back of the book.
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This book is very good, but it  isn’t a regular children’s book. I feel like everyone should know that before buying it. It tells a story that people try to shield their children from. I’m glad there’s a book like this out there now though. Children who go through this need to know they aren’t alone! The story was told beautifully.
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