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When Stars Are Scattered

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 TimesBestselling author/artist Victoria Jamieson by Omar Mohamed, the Somali man who lived the story.

"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

Author: Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

Illustrator: Victoria Jamieson and Man Geddy


Page Count: 264


Published: October 4, 2022


ISBN: 9780525553908


  • 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

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