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Strange Boarders

Genre: Graphic Novel⠀

Ages: 8-12⠀

Price: 9 usd⠀



Islamic notes: clean. Some bullying.⠀

Summary: Adnan and his family escape from Syria and come to America. His friend Yousef and him used to skateboard together in the ruins of Syria and his friend gives him the special skateboard before he leaves. He writes to his friend back home to tell him how his life is, and explains that though he escaped the war, he has to deal with bullying for being new in America. Skateboarding manages to be an outlet for him and a way to make new friends, and after a skateboard showdown, he even makes friends with his bully.⠀

My thoughts: Adnan was a wonderful protagonist. I really felt my heart engage with his story, and I rooted for him to fit in and find friends. The pictures and comics are well done, and I loved the Arabic and Syrian touches in the book. The pictures definitely made Adnan feel more authentic.⠀

As a Syrian myself, I felt extra emotional when I read the story. Little quotes here and there explain how dire the situation is in Syria and reflect why refugees leave their country. This shows younger readers the need to empathize and help people escaping from war.⠀

Adnan’s humanity is so clear in the book and it shows how similar he is to those he meets in America. The way he thinks of others, and even how he feels bad for his bully make him such a wonderful caring character.⠀

The way Adnan uses skateboarding in his new home to make friends shows his resilience and his optimism, and it truly reflects the majority of refugees and how they try to make a better life for themselves.⠀

My son loved how the book included skateboarding and skateboard tricks, and it was a fun and light read for him. ⠀

A definite recommendation!

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