Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.
Written by Nushin Alloo
Illustrated by Shadia Kassem
Published by Beauty Beneath the Rubble (2018)
On behalf of the GatheringBooks team, I would like to thank everyone at Beauty Beneath the Rubble for sending us a free copy of the book. The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed in Syria is the first in a series of books that highlight the beauty of places around the world that experience conflict. The country featured in this book is, of course, Syria.
In the book, we meet two siblings, Laila and Ahmed, who come across their grandfather’s travel journal. The journal is filled with their grandfather’s adventures from all the places he has visited. Later, they would find out what the journal is truly capable of. It opens a door to a faraway land where a treasure awaits them in the end. Laila could not wait but Ahmed is not so certain.
So begins their magical journey through Syria. Laila and Ahmed visit the same places that their grandfather visited a long time ago. A clue is hidden in each part of their journey and they must solve their grandfather’s riddle to find the next location. As the children move from one place to another, they meet different people along the way. The children is changed in the process. They learn things about themselves as much as they learn about Syria.
The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed in Syria is longer than the average 48-page picture book. The book describes Syria in great detail, words and images alike. For more information about the landmarks mentioned in the book, as well as the organization itself, check out Beauty Beneath the Rubble’s website.