By A. M. Dassu
Sami loves his life in Damascus, Syria. He hangs out with his best friend playing video games; he's trying out for the football team; he adores his family and gets annoyed by them in equal measure. But his comfortable life gets sidetracked abruptly after a bombing in a nearby shopping mall. Knowing that the violence will only get worse, Sami's parents decide they must flee their home for the safety of the UK.
Boy, Everywhere chronicles their harrowing journey and struggle to settle in a new land. Forced to sell all their belongings and leave their friends and beloved grandmother behind, Sami and his family travel across the Middle East to Turkey, where they end up in a smuggler's den. From there, they cross the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean and manage to fly to England, only to be separated and detained in an immigration prison for the "crime" of seeking asylum. Yet the transition from refugee to immigrant in a new life will be the greatest challenge Sami has ever faced.
Based on the experiences of real Syrian refugees, this thoughtful middle-grade novel is the rare book to delve deeply into this years-long crisis. A. M. Dassu has used her publishing deal advances for Boy, Everywhere to assist Syrian refugees in her city and set up a grant to support an unpublished refugee/recently immigrated writer in the US. Sami's story is one of survival, of family and friendship, of bravery and longing ... Sami could be any one of us.
Read our blog interview with author A. M. Dassu about what moved her to write this story, her experience and work with refugees, and the feedback she's received from Syrian readers.
Watch author A.M. Dassu answer questions from students in Manchester, England.
About the Creators
A. M. DASSU is the internationally acclaimed author of Boy, Everywhere and Fight Back, which have collectively been listed for 46 awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Week Junior Book Award, the Carnegie Medal, The Little Rebels Award for Radical Fiction, the American Library Association Notable Book List and Jane Addams Peace Book Award.
She is a director at Inclusive Minds, which is an organization for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s literature; a patron of The Other Side of Hope, a literary magazine edited by immigrants and refugees, which celebrates the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide, and one of The National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign authors, aiming to help inspire a love of reading and writing in children and young people.
A. M. Dassu grew up in the UK dreaming of becoming a writer but studied economics instead and worked in marketing and project management before realizing her dream. She writes books that challenge stereotypes, humanize the “other” and are full of empathy, hope and heart. Her most recent book, Boot It! was a World Book Day novel, published in March 2023. You can also find her on Twitter @a_reflective or Instagram @a.m.dassu.