Marwan's Journey

Marwan's Journey

One night they came... The darkness grew colder, deeper, darker, and swallowed up everything...Marwan is a young boy on a journey he never intended to take, bound for a place he doesn’t know. On his journey, he relies on courage and memories of his faraway homeland to buoy him. With him are hundreds and thousands of other human beings, crossing the deserts and the seas, fl...

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Title:Marwan's Journey
Author:Patricia de Arias
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Marwan's Journey Reviews

  • Christy

    This is a beautiful book. Patricia de Arias takes readers along on young Marwan's journey across the desert to a new beginning in an unknown land. "I take giant steps even though I am small," the narrator tells us. The trip is difficult and he misses his mother. Looking back, he describes the sudden darkness (war) that descended on his homeland and sent "thousands of feet, one in front of the other," walking away from home. Despite the hardship, he keeps walking, holding memories of his house an

    This is a beautiful book. Patricia de Arias takes readers along on young Marwan's journey across the desert to a new beginning in an unknown land. "I take giant steps even though I am small," the narrator tells us. The trip is difficult and he misses his mother. Looking back, he describes the sudden darkness (war) that descended on his homeland and sent "thousands of feet, one in front of the other," walking away from home. Despite the hardship, he keeps walking, holding memories of his house and his intact family, and holding on to hope -- and a determination to return one day and make things better in his homeland. Gorgeous and gut-wrenching. The art by Laura Borras convey the child's pain and also the strength and love of family that carry Marwan forward. She uses jumbled, impressionistic images and earth tones, highlighted with an occasional symbolic yellow light. At a time when so many children are refugees around the world, this book puts a human face on the hardship and the hopes of these young people. This book was originally published in 2016, in Spanish. So glad Michael Neugebauer Publishing brought it out in English. (And thanks to Kidlit Exchange for the advance copy provided for review. All opinions are my own of course.)

  • Tasha

    Marwan is a little boy on a long journey filled with walking and heading to a place he’s never been. When his home was attacked by soldiers in tanks in the middle of the night, Marwan had to start walking. He thinks often of his mother and father, their little house where they lived happily together filled with sunlight. Now he must walk through the desert to a new homeland carrying a pack of hope on his back.

    This picture book is imported from Spain and has the feel of a European children’s book

    Marwan is a little boy on a long journey filled with walking and heading to a place he’s never been. When his home was attacked by soldiers in tanks in the middle of the night, Marwan had to start walking. He thinks often of his mother and father, their little house where they lived happily together filled with sunlight. Now he must walk through the desert to a new homeland carrying a pack of hope on his back.

    This picture book is imported from Spain and has the feel of a European children’s book. The language used is poetic and beautiful, showing the emotions rather than telling about them. Here is one example from early in the book: “I walk, and my footsteps leave a trace of ancient stories, the songs of my homeland, and the smell of tea and bread, jasmine and earth.” You can feel it right in your bones. The illustrations have a gorgeous depth to them, filled with deep blacks and rounded out by earthen colors. Throughout the book there is a sense of peace and a hope of a better place at the end of the long walk.

    An important book that beautifully captures the dangers and loss of a refugee child. Appropriate for ages 4-7.

  • Keeley

    This book was absolutely stunning! I love the artistic style and warm colors of this book. There is certainly a solitude, loneliness, and sadness to the tale. More importantly though, there is a blossoming hope and will.

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Marwan is on the road, off on a journey to another place, leaving behind all he knows, all he loves. This is a story of sadness, of loss, but it is also a story of deep hope and promise. It's a story children rarely hear. It's a story children need to hear.

  • Alex  Baugh

    When war comes to his (unnamed) country, a young boy finds himself fleeing on foot across the desert, his footsteps leaving behind"a trace of ancient stories, the songs of my homeland, and the smell of tea and bread, jasmine and earth" and apparently his deceased mother. By day, this small refugee carries the sound of his mother's voice urging him on, step by step, and to never look back. At night, he dreams of her coming to tuck him in. As he walks with others who are also fleeing, crossing bor

    When war comes to his (unnamed) country, a young boy finds himself fleeing on foot across the desert, his footsteps leaving behind"a trace of ancient stories, the songs of my homeland, and the smell of tea and bread, jasmine and earth" and apparently his deceased mother. By day, this small refugee carries the sound of his mother's voice urging him on, step by step, and to never look back. At night, he dreams of her coming to tuck him in. As he walks with others who are also fleeing, crossing borders to other countries, the boy thinks about his happy home life before the war - his mother lightning a nighttime fire, his father telling stories, their garden, their cat, and the ray of morning sun that shone on his pillow - and he vows he will someday return and rebuild his home and recapture that happiness.

    Marwan's Journey is a simple story of fear, loss, and sorrow, but also of courage, hope, and promise lyrically written in a youthful voice that goes far capturing the emotional impact war and flight have on a young child. de Arias' words create beautiful text images and metaphors, complimented by Borràs' stylistic ink and color wash illustrations done in a palette of desert colors against sand-colored paper reminiscent of the desert Marwan is crossing.

    This is a beautifully rendered book highlighting the impact refugee crisis in today's world has on young people.

  • Westminster Library

    Marwan’s journey is a beautifully illustrated story of a boy who is forced to leave his country and walk and walk and walk to freedom and peace. I loved the story’s richness and simplicity. The illustrations drew me in to thinking what this must be like for refugees around the world. Their courage must be strong and their will to survive stronger. Even though the subject matter is difficult, there is a thread of hope throughout that comes to light at the end.

    Find

    at the Westmins

    Marwan’s journey is a beautifully illustrated story of a boy who is forced to leave his country and walk and walk and walk to freedom and peace. I loved the story’s richness and simplicity. The illustrations drew me in to thinking what this must be like for refugees around the world. Their courage must be strong and their will to survive stronger. Even though the subject matter is difficult, there is a thread of hope throughout that comes to light at the end.

    Find

    at the Westminster Public Library!

  • June

    A story of a refugee, who hopes to return and rebuild his home. The hope makes this appropriate for younger children and portrays that not all refugees are looking for a new home or country.

    Warm tones convey the warmth felt for the homeland, while the black swallows it up.

  • Abigail

    In simple but poetic text, author Patricia de Arias tells the story of Marwan, a young boy who must flee his homeland one day, when darkness descends upon it. Although no name is given, the artwork makes the Middle Eastern setting evident, leading to the conclusion that our eponymous refugee is Syrian. Encouraged by the words of his mother, Marwan keeps walking, hoping for a future of safety, a future in which he will one day return to his home...

    Originally published as

    , in S

    In simple but poetic text, author Patricia de Arias tells the story of Marwan, a young boy who must flee his homeland one day, when darkness descends upon it. Although no name is given, the artwork makes the Middle Eastern setting evident, leading to the conclusion that our eponymous refugee is Syrian. Encouraged by the words of his mother, Marwan keeps walking, hoping for a future of safety, a future in which he will one day return to his home...

    Originally published as

    , in Santiago, Chile,

    pairs a simple but powerful text from Arias with beautiful, immensely expressive artwork from illustrator Laura Borràs. The words and images here focus on Marwan's memories and immediate experiences, the terrifying, heartbreaking events he lives through, driving home the fact that children are often the most vulnerable, in the fallout from complex adult actions and politics. Recommended to anyone looking for children's stories about the refugee experience in general, or the recent exodus from Syria into Europe in particular.

  • Tatiana

    The dust cover says, "Marwan's journey is everyone's journey." In an awful way, this is true. The mass displacement of souls from Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and other countries in the past decade has normalized the experience. (Not to say that refugees are 'new' to history, though, only that there is a high concentration of media on the current displacements.) In today's world, a refugee's story c

    The dust cover says, "Marwan's journey is everyone's journey." In an awful way, this is true. The mass displacement of souls from Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and other countries in the past decade has normalized the experience. (Not to say that refugees are 'new' to history, though, only that there is a high concentration of media on the current displacements.) In today's world, a refugee's story can be generic--generic war, generic location--and still ring true for many.

    So,

    doesn't particularly say anything inventive on the refugee's plight, but perhaps that is not necessary. There is strength in a common voice, speaking the same truth. They are weary, they long for home; memories are both comfort and sadness. Your journey is my journey.

  • Varvara V

    This book talks through a personal story of dark times and moving forward. It shows the struggles of a boy and his culture. I recommend this book because it is really deep and beautiful. I think students who relate to the patterns and cultural illustrations in the book will resonate with it. A teacher may use this book to open up a discussion about different struggles the students may have faced and how they overcame them.

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