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When Stars Are Scattered

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A National Book Award Finalist, this remarkable graphic novel is about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day.

Heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting, and a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult of settings. It's an intimate, important, unforgettable look at the day-to-day life of a refugee, as told to New York Times Bestselling author/artist Victoria Jamieson by Omar Mohamed, the Somali man who lived the story.
  • WINNER | 2021
    Josette Frank Award
  • FINALIST
    National Book Award Finalist
  • SELECTION
    YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
  • HONOR
    Schneider Family Book Award
  • SELECTION
    American Library Association's YALSA Quick Pick
  • SELECTION | 2021
    IRA Notable Books for a Global Society
  • FINALIST | 2021
    Jane Addams Children's Book Award
  • AWARD | 2020
    Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books
  • SELECTION | 2020
    School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A New York Times Bestseller
National Book Award Finalist
Schneider Family Book Award, Middle School Honor
YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens
YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Nominee

Walter Award Winner (Younger Readers)
Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2020
New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book
TIME Best Book of the Year
School Library Journal Best Book of 2020
Kirkus Best Children’s Book of 2020
NYPL Best Book for Kids
NPR's Book Concierge Pick

Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist
Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book
2021 ALSC Notable Children’s Books List
2021 Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book
2021 Josette Frank Award Winner

2021 Notable Books for a Global Society List
2021 Kids’ Book Choice Award Winner


★ "Jamieson's characteristically endearing art, warmly colored by Geddy, perfectly complements Omar's story, conjuring memorable and sympathetic characters who will stay with readers long after they close the book . . . This engaging, heartwarming story does everything one can ask of a book, and then some.” —Kirkus, starred review

★ "With this sensitive and poignant tale, Jamieson and Mohamed express the power of the human spirit to persevere." —School Library Journal, starred review

★ "Tragedy is certainly present throughout the story, yet Mohamed and Jamieson’s focus on deep familial love and education works to subvert many refugee stereotypes." —Horn Book, starred review

★ "Mohamed's experience is unfortunately not unique, but it is told with grace, humility, and forgiveness. This beautiful memoir is not to be missed." —Booklist, starred review

★ "Jamieson and Mohamed together craft a cohesive, winding story that balances daily life and boredom, past traumas, and unforeseen outcomes alongside camp denizens’ ingenuity and community . . . colorist Iman Geddy’s deep purple skies drive home the title. The result of this team effort is a personal and poignant entry point for young readers trying to understand an unfair world." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "The graphic novel presentation and first person narration from the young narrator creates an immediacy and connection with the events of the story. Readers are quickly drawn into Omar’s world and worry for him and his friends." —School Library Connection

"Over the next fifteen years chronicled in this moving, slightly fictionalized graphic novel, the boys grow to manhood in an overcrowded tent city . . . Jamieson’s artwork, affectionately depicting resilient kids who manage to carve out lives in a community with few solid prospects, reprises the inviting ebullience readers will recognize from Roller Girl and All’s Faire."  —BCCB


YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
Victoria Jamieson received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked as a children’s book designer before becoming a full-time illustrator. She has also worked as a portrait artist aboard a cruise ship, and has lived in Australia, Italy, and Canada. She now lives with her family in Pennsylvania. View titles by Victoria Jamieson
Educator Guide for When Stars Are Scattered

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Discussion Guide for When Stars Are Scattered

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

About

A National Book Award Finalist, this remarkable graphic novel is about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day.

Heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting, and a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult of settings. It's an intimate, important, unforgettable look at the day-to-day life of a refugee, as told to New York Times Bestselling author/artist Victoria Jamieson by Omar Mohamed, the Somali man who lived the story.

Awards

  • WINNER | 2021
    Josette Frank Award
  • FINALIST
    National Book Award Finalist
  • SELECTION
    YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
  • HONOR
    Schneider Family Book Award
  • SELECTION
    American Library Association's YALSA Quick Pick
  • SELECTION | 2021
    IRA Notable Books for a Global Society
  • FINALIST | 2021
    Jane Addams Children's Book Award
  • AWARD | 2020
    Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books
  • SELECTION | 2020
    School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Praise

A New York Times Bestseller
National Book Award Finalist
Schneider Family Book Award, Middle School Honor
YALSA Great Graphic Novel for Teens
YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Nominee

Walter Award Winner (Younger Readers)
Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2020
New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book
TIME Best Book of the Year
School Library Journal Best Book of 2020
Kirkus Best Children’s Book of 2020
NYPL Best Book for Kids
NPR's Book Concierge Pick

Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist
Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book
2021 ALSC Notable Children’s Books List
2021 Children’s Africana Book Award Honor Book
2021 Josette Frank Award Winner

2021 Notable Books for a Global Society List
2021 Kids’ Book Choice Award Winner


★ "Jamieson's characteristically endearing art, warmly colored by Geddy, perfectly complements Omar's story, conjuring memorable and sympathetic characters who will stay with readers long after they close the book . . . This engaging, heartwarming story does everything one can ask of a book, and then some.” —Kirkus, starred review

★ "With this sensitive and poignant tale, Jamieson and Mohamed express the power of the human spirit to persevere." —School Library Journal, starred review

★ "Tragedy is certainly present throughout the story, yet Mohamed and Jamieson’s focus on deep familial love and education works to subvert many refugee stereotypes." —Horn Book, starred review

★ "Mohamed's experience is unfortunately not unique, but it is told with grace, humility, and forgiveness. This beautiful memoir is not to be missed." —Booklist, starred review

★ "Jamieson and Mohamed together craft a cohesive, winding story that balances daily life and boredom, past traumas, and unforeseen outcomes alongside camp denizens’ ingenuity and community . . . colorist Iman Geddy’s deep purple skies drive home the title. The result of this team effort is a personal and poignant entry point for young readers trying to understand an unfair world." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "The graphic novel presentation and first person narration from the young narrator creates an immediacy and connection with the events of the story. Readers are quickly drawn into Omar’s world and worry for him and his friends." —School Library Connection

"Over the next fifteen years chronicled in this moving, slightly fictionalized graphic novel, the boys grow to manhood in an overcrowded tent city . . . Jamieson’s artwork, affectionately depicting resilient kids who manage to carve out lives in a community with few solid prospects, reprises the inviting ebullience readers will recognize from Roller Girl and All’s Faire."  —BCCB


YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

Author

Victoria Jamieson received her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and worked as a children’s book designer before becoming a full-time illustrator. She has also worked as a portrait artist aboard a cruise ship, and has lived in Australia, Italy, and Canada. She now lives with her family in Pennsylvania. View titles by Victoria Jamieson

Guides

Educator Guide for When Stars Are Scattered

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Discussion Guide for When Stars Are Scattered

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)