Sami’s privileged life in Damascus is torn apart after a bomb attack on a shopping mall, which forces his family to leave his home in Syria, bound for England. He thinks it’s his fault, but is it? Will they survive the journey, can he trust his new friends – and will Sami ever find somewhere to call home again? From privilege to poverty, across countries and continents, locked up in a smuggler’s apartment, imprisoned and bullied at home in the UK, this is a coming-of-age story of friendship, family, belonging and fighting for a better future.
Boy, Everywhere, my upper middle grade novel was inspired by a news interview in which I saw refugees in muddy camps holding their smart phones, talking about what they’d left behind. Looking around my comfortable living room, I realised that it could easily have been me. Due to media coverage, many people assume that refugees are poor, uneducated and want to come here because they’d have a better life. If it weren’t for the war, most Syrians would never have left. This book challenges stereotypes and conveys the true lives of Damascenes. It shows the colour in contrast to the grey rubble and dust that has dominated TV footage for years. It is a universal story, in which my protagonist is an ordinary boy who loves cars, playing football and his PlayStation.
Published on October 22nd 2020.
WH Smith here
Letterbox Library with review here
Through The Wardrobe Books here
Bookshop.org US Hardback here
Add it to Goodreads here
Featured in Books of the Month, Children’s Best New Novels:
“Carefully researched, wholly convincing, it’s a gripping, uncompromising debut, super-charged with the power of empathy.”
BOOKSELLER’S ONE TO WATCH
ONE TO WATCH: ‘poignant and powerful… An impressive, thoughtful debut…’ THE BOOKSELLER – The UK’s definitive book industry magazine and website
FEATURED IN BOOKTRUST’S OCTOBER REVIEWS
‘Timely and honest, this is a story which every school should have in its library.’
FULL PAGE FEATURE IN BOOKTIME
It was given a full page feature in the Autumn 2020 edition of BOOKTIME, the free magazine in all UK independent bookshops.
You can read the magazine online or pick it up in store.
LOVEREADINGKIDS DEBUT OF THE MONTH
‘Written with a deep understanding and meticulous research into similar journeys this is a book that will not leave you for a very long time… Read this book – it’s needs to be in classrooms and on bookshelves everywhere – it will change you and stay with you.’
Read the full review here.
FIVE STAR REVIEW ON READING ZONE
ReadingZone which supports teachers and librarians in helping to grow children as readers gave Boy, Everywhere a five star review.
‘Boy, Everywhere is heartbreaking, beautiful, uplifting and devastating in equal measure and although it’s a work of fiction, it reads like a true account which is testament to the wonderful research and storytelling of A. M. Dassu. She chronicles the beauty and devastation, sights and sounds, friendships and relationships in stunning vivid detail, so much so that you honestly feel that you are living every moment alongside Sami.’
Read the full review here
BOOK FOR KEEPS BOOK OF THE YEAR
Best Book of 2020, BOOK RIOT
Featured in Amnesty’s books that inspire activism list:
“A fantastically well-researched and empathetic story that gives humanity and respect to those seeking sanctuary, busting a number of stereotypes about refugees along the way.”