⭐️Independent Bookshops’ Book of the Month, June 2022
⭐️’Editor’s Choice’ – The Bookseller
⭐️’Our Best Best Coming Soon Books’ – Waterstones
⭐️Book of the Day, BookTrust, 4th August 2022 “Gripping, honest, and a book that will stay with its reader for a long time.”
⭐️Book of the Week, The Week Junior, 25th June 2022 issue “… a hopeful and empowering read, showing how young people can stand together for what they believe in.”
⭐️Book of the Month and Best New Novel on publication, featured in The Guardian, June 2022 online and in weekend print edition “… fearless, compelling story of trauma, solidarity and testing which rules are made to be broken…”
⭐️Inspiring Books for Young Activists, Bookriot
⭐️The Red Award 17, Longlist (listed one week after publication)
⭐️Redhill Academy Trust Children’s Book Award 2022-2023, Shortlist
⭐️Juniper Book Awards 2023, Longlist
⭐️Page Turner Book Awards 2023, Shortlist
⭐️Wirral Book Awards 22/2023, Shortlist
⭐️️Cheshire Book Award 2023, Shortlist
⭐️Redbridge Book Award 2023, Longlist
⭐️Bookling Book Award 2023, Shortlist
⭐️Waterstones BEST BOOKS OF 2022, Teen and YA list
⭐️Nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2023
⭐️Went to second print run within 2 weeks of publication and sold 14,000 copies and went to 5th print run within 8 months of publication. Over 30,000 copies sold since publication in the UK alone. On 7th print run.
⭐️American Library Association, Notable Book Award
⭐️Kirkus Book of the Year, 2021
⭐️Booklist Book of the Year, 2021
⭐️Starred review, Booklist
⭐️Starred review, Kirkus Reviews
⭐️ Starred review, Publishers Weekly
⭐️ Best Children’s Books of 2020, The Guardian
⭐️ Bank Street Best Books of the Year list 2022
⭐️ Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2021, Shortlist
⭐️ Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for Radical Fiction 2021 Winner
⭐️ SCBWI Crystal Kite 2021 Award Winner
⭐️ Calderdale Book of the Year, 2021 Winner
⭐️ The Redhill Academy Trust Book Awards, 2022 Winner
⭐️ York Book Award, 2022 Winner
⭐️Carnegie Medal Nominated 2022
⭐️ The Diverse Book Awards 2021, Shortlist
⭐️ American Library Association Booklist’s Top 10 MG Debut
⭐️One to Watch, The Bookseller
⭐️ BBC Novels that Changed the World, Author into Schools
⭐️ National Literacy Trust Connecting Stories Champion
⭐️Books that Inspire Activism, Amnesty International
⭐️Manchester launches Boy, Everywhere City Wide initiative
⭐️Empathy Lab 2021 Selection
⭐️LitFest Big Read Book
⭐️ Best Children’s Books of 2020, BookTrust
⭐️ Best Children’s Books of 2020, CLPE
⭐️ Best Children’s Book of 2020, Bookriot
⭐️Best New Children’s Novels, The Guardian
⭐️ Listed for 15 regional awards and 7 national awards
⭐️ Amazon Book Choice – 3800 copies to UK Schools
HONOURS AND AWARDS
Carnegie Medal Nominated 2022
American Library Association, Notable Book Award
BookTrust Great Books Guide (top 100 for 0 – 11 yr books for 2020)
Bank Street Best Books of the Year list 2022
Fight Back ‘Editor’s Choice’ – The Bookseller
Fight Back ‘Best Coming Soon Book’ – Waterstones.
Little Rebels Book Award for Radical Fiction 2021
Crystal Kite Award 2021
Calderdale Book of the Year, 2021
The Redhill Academy Trust Book Awards, 2022
York Book Award, 2022
Waterstones Childrens Book Prize
The Diverse Book Awards
Sheffield Children’s Book Award
Redbridge Book Award
Sefton Super Reads
North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award
Reading Rampage (Winner TBA)
NE Children’s Book Award (Winner TBA)
Brilliant Book Award 2022 (Winner TBA)
Bishops Stortsford 2022 (Winner TBA)
Salford Children’s Book Award 2022 (Winner TBA)
SJCR Book Award (Winner TBA)
Cheshire Schools Book Award
Branford Boase Award
Spark! Book Award
UK BOOK COVER IMAGE
US BOOK COVER IMAGE (high-res)
THEMES IN FIGHT BACK GRAPHIC TWITTER
THEMES IN FIGHT BACK GRAPHIC INSTAGRAM
U.K BOOK COVER IMAGE
U.K BOOK COVER IMAGE WITH QUOTES (high-res)
FOR INDUSTRY REVIEWS OF BOY, EVERYWHERE CLICK HERE.
FOR INDUSTRY REVIEWS OF FIGHT BACK CLICK HERE.
A. M. Dassu is an award winning writer of both nonfiction and fiction, including the internationally acclaimed novel Boy, Everywhere, an ALA Notable Book which was also nominated for the Carnegie Medal and was one of The Guardian’s and Bookriot’s Best Children’s Books of 2020 and has been listed for 25 awards including the prestigious Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Her latest novel, Fight Back is Independent Bookshops’ Book of the Month and also featured in The Guardian‘s Best New Children’s Novel feature as a Book of the Month. She is former Deputy Editor now on the Advisory Board of SCBWI-BI’s magazine, Words & Pictures, a Director at Inclusive Minds, one of the lead authors in The National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign, a patron of The Other Side of Hope, a literary magazine, edited by immigrants and refugees which serves to celebrate the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide, and the Society of Author’s Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group committee member.
A. M. DASSU is the internationally acclaimed author of Boy, Everywhere, a Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlisted book, also nominated for the Carnegie Medal and an American Library Association Notable Book. She is former deputy editor, now an Advisory Board Member of SCBWI-British Isles’ Words & Pictures magazine, a director at Inclusive Minds, which is an organization for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility in children’s literature, 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. She writes books that challenge stereotypes, humanise the “other”, and are full of empathy, hope and heart. You can find her on Twitter as @a_reflective, on Instagram as @a.m.dassu, or at amdassu.com
MEDIUM LENGTH BIO
A. M. Dassu is a multi award-winning, Carnegie nominated writer of both non-fiction and fiction including the internationally acclaimed novel Boy, Everywhere, one of The Guardian’s, Bookriot’s, Kirkus’s, American Library Association’s Booklist’s, CLPE’s and BookTrust’s Best Children’s Book of the Year. It has been given much coveted starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly in America and is also an American Library Association’s Notable Book. Boy, Everywhere also featured as one of The Guardian’s Children’s Best New Novels on publication in October, is on Amnesty’s Books That Inspire Activism list and has been listed for 25 awards including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and is the 2021 winner of The Little Rebels Award for Radical Fiction. A. M. Dassu is former Deputy Editor, now Advisory Board member of Words & Pictures magazine for children’s writers and illustrators, and a Director of Inclusive Minds, a unique organisation for people who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality, and accessibility in children’s literature. A. M. Dassu is patron of The Other Side of Hope, a new literary magazine edited by immigrants and refugees, which serves to celebrate the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide. She is also 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 Midlands dreaming of becoming a writer but studied economics instead and worked in marketing and project management before realising her dream. Her work has been published by The Huffington Post, Times Educational Supplement, SCOOP Magazine, Lee and Low Books, Old Barn Books, Scholastic, DK Books and Harper Collins. When she isn’t battling emails or writing, A. M. Dassu mentors aspiring authors and loves to shout about other people’s books.
A. M. Dassu writes contemporary upper middle grade novels inspired by news stories that are accessible and relatable and which enable young people to walk in others’ shoes. Her stories are about ordinary people who do extraordinary things when thrown into circumstances they never saw coming. She enjoys planning school workshops and shocking her audience by taking a story we think we all know and turning it on its head.
A. M. Dassu has used her publishing deal advances for her debut middle grade novel Boy, Everywhere to assist Syrian refugees in her city and set up a grant to support an unpublished refugee or immigrant writer. It was published in the UK and Commonwealth in October 2020 and in April 2021 in the US. When she isn’t battling emails or writing, she mentors aspiring authors and loves to shout about other people’s books. You can find her on Twitter @a_reflective and Instagram@a.m.dassu or at amdassu.com
LONG DETAILED BIO WITH PAST EXPERIENCE AND CHARITY/VOLUNTARY WORK INFO
A. M. Dassu was born and raised in the heart of England. She is an award winning freelance writer of both fiction and non-fiction books, a magistrate and a director at Inclusive Minds, a unique organisation that provides services and expertise for authors and illustrators, publishing professionals, editors, librarians and teachers who are passionate about inclusion, diversity, equality and accessibility in children’s literature. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the deputy editor for SCBWI-BI’s Words & Pictures magazine. She is also a mentor for the Write Mentor Sparks Programme and has helped authors on their journey to securing an agent and is one of the lead authors in The National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign, which aims to help inspire a love of reading and writing in children and young people. She is also a patron of The Other Side of Hope, a literary magazine, edited by immigrants and refugees which serves to celebrate the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide, and a Society of Author’s Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group committee member. Her previous work experience includes project management, marketing and some editorial work at Reader’s Digest.
Seven years ago, whilst writing some copy for a friend’s website, A. M. Dassu rediscovered her love of writing for an audience. Her first piece for The Huffington Post, for whom she was a featured writer, was published on the front-page, alongside Barack Obama and Lenny Henry. In January 2017, she received the international We Need Diverse Books YA mentorship award and was also selected for the Writing East Midlands agency’s mentorship scheme. Her work has been published by The Huffington Post, Times Educational Supplement, SCOOP Magazine, Lee & Low Books, and DK Books and later this year, Harper Collins.
A. M. Dassu firmly believes in giving back to society and has been raising money to support refugees and orphans annually since 2014, and has dedicated many years to volunteering as a school appeals panel member and as a school governor. In 2015, A. M. Dassu wrote a picture book inspired by her son’s school friend; she started looking into publishing it and the rest is history.
She writes immersive and relevant stories for children of all backgrounds that are accessible and relatable and which enable young people to walk in others’ shoes. Her work is inspired by news stories. She explores outside political events and how they impact family relationships and friendships. Her stories humanise ‘the other’, whilst challenging stereotypes. She writes about tolerance, how people interact, become friends, belonging and identity and the expectations of others. She focuses on how something societal impacts multi-cultural families and how they deal with it. Her stories are about ordinary people who do extraordinary things when thrown into circumstances they never saw coming.
A. M. Dassu’s internationally acclaimed debut middle grade novel, BOY, EVERYWHERE was noted as ‘One to Watch’ by The Bookseller, the UK’s definitive book industry magazine and website. And after just seven weeks of being published was chosen as one of The Guardian’s, Bookriot’s, BookTrust’s and CLPE’s BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS of 2020. It also featured as one of The Guardian’s ‘Children’s Best New Novels’ on publication in October 2020 and on Amnesty’s ‘Books That Inspire Activism’ list, and has been listed for 10 awards including the prestigious Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
It has received praise from authors, teachers, parents, and received five star reviews on websites such as Reading Zone, LoveReading4Kids and BookTrust and much coveted starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly in America. It is a contemporary upper middle grade novel about a privileged 13-year-old boy from Syria who is forced to leave everything he owns and knows behind. It is a coming-of-age story of friendship, family, belonging and fighting for a better future. Boy, Everywhere is a story of privilege and looks at the refugee crisis from a completely new perspective, and through thirteen-year-old Sami’s eyes shows that we are all one cruel twist of fate away from becoming refugees — it can happen to anyone.
A. M. Dassu has used her publishing deal advances for her debut middle grade novel Boy, Everywhere to assist Syrian refugees in her city and set up a grant to support an unpublished refugee or immigrant writer. It was published in the UK and Commonwealth in October 2020 and in the USA in April 2021.
She is represented by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency Inc. You can find her on Twitter @a_reflective and Instagram @a.m.dassu
Colour – side profile
“Carefully researched, wholly convincing, it’s a gripping, uncompromising debut, super-charged with the power of empathy.”
Imogen Russell Williams, THE GUARDIAN
Featured in Books of the Month, Children’s Best New Novels
‘poignant and powerful… An impressive, thoughtful debut…’
Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
Featured as One to Watch
‘Timely and honest, this is a story which every school should have in its library.’
Anna Mckerrow, BookTrust
Featured New Best Books We Love
‘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.’
Tricia Adams, LOVEREADINGKIDS, Debut of the Month
Read the full review here.
‘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.’
Lucy Georgeson, five star review, Reading Zone
Read the full review here
‘This is such an important and timely novel and deserves attention. A. M. Dassu gives voice to the refugee experience in a powerful story which respects the difficult decisions that every family seeking refuge has to make. Boy, Everywhere would make a good Read Aloud text in Year 5 or Year 6 or it could be used for guided reading as discussions around the experiences in the story would break down stereotypes and build empathy. It also belongs in every primary and secondary school library. There have been quite a few recent releases focusing on the refugee experience but this one stands out.’
Laura Ovenden, Just Imagine
Read the full review here
‘It’s a brave book, and an important one, but it’s also a great read and I think there’s nothing else like it for that age group. This is going to be on my list of top recommendations for 2020.’
Dawn Finch, children’s author and librarian. Trustee of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and chair of The Society of Author’s CWIG committee (Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group)
‘Sami is such a relatable character, the voice is perfect, and seeing their journey from his perspective really brings to life anything a child reading might have heard about refugees. This carefully researched and empathetic novel will, deservingly, be compared to Elizabeth Laird. I had my heart in my throat for so much of the story but I also smiled, a brilliantly crafted debut.’
Caroline Fielding CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Youth Libraries Group London chair & National Exhibition Manager
‘Such a realistic story, Sami could be my son, daughter or any of their friends.’
Mayida Yord, Teacher in Damascus, Syria
‘It’s amazing. It’s like she was amongst us. It’s like she’s been living here. She knows how people think and react…’
Mohamad Ghabash, 12-year-old student in Damascus, Syria. His father is a surgeon and mother a teacher, like Sami’s.
‘From a boy that had it all at his home, to someone who was left out on the streets in Manchester, this book brings down to words what happened exactly to many people, victims of the war in Syria.
Surprised by the number of realistic details this book has, I was full with emotions reading it. It marks the truth of our sad reality here in Syria, and most importantly shows the message we always wanted to blurt out but couldn’t, we aren’t happy we came to your land, we were forced to.
In the name of a person who has gone through half what Sami has gone through from bullying to hatred of us, I can affirm that the story told in this book is a hundred percent true, and there’s even been worse.
However, the presence of the good deeds in people helped a lot going through rough periods of time, the world needs more of them.
I really like this book, with all its heart warming, dramatically realistic events that would definitely move something in you. I hope it gets the attention it deserves, we need it. <3’
Layla Jazairy, 15 year old student in Damascus, Syria
‘Rarely do we have insight about middle-class Syrians before they emigrated from the ensuing chaos that began in 2011. However, A. M. Dassu’s Boy Everywhere sensitively takes us through the trials that many faced when they were uprooted from a life many of us in the West can relate to. It puts us in the uncomfortable position of thinking what if this was my family? But more than that, the characters and friendships formed with Sami, our hero, tugs and connects us with a life we yearn to be restored to a semblance of what he had before. Endearing yet powerful, this is a heartfelt depiction of one family’s war. I think this book sets a precedent for seeing Syrians as multi-dimensional people rather than what we hear on the news. It’s refreshing and I hope more publishers get to publish stories like this that show a different side. Yours is one of the gateways to that. This feels like an evolutionary book compared to others we read that only focus on the refugee part rather than the life they left behind.’
Eiman Munro – SEN Teacher (lived in Damascus for a year)
‘Thank you for writing this. I really enjoyed it. I really couldn’t wait to read what happened next – it was so interesting. It’s been very frustrating for Syrians and personally for me when reading books about Syria or refugees by individuals who have no real experience or true understanding about authentic Syrian culture or about the issues we face, and many books have been published where Syrians are not consulted in the writing of them and they are published with cultural mistakes and negative stereotypes. I find this frustrating so it’s been great to read Boy, Everywhere that challenges those stereotypes and shows the reality of Syrians before the war. I loved the characters, they were very realistic and so convincing, the friendships so real. Such a good story – a brilliant novel.’
Nadine Kaadan, children’s author and illustrator from Damascus, Syria who now lives in London
‘A powerful and gut-wrenchingly moving story of one family’s displacement, crucially seen through the boy’s own eyes. Casually smashing stereotypes and challenging thinking, Dassu skilfully combines the stark and often shocking reality of the refugee experience with the commonality of being a teenager. The result is utterly thought-provoking yet eminently readable. Quite simply a must-read for all.’
Alexandra Strick, Consultant, BookTrust
‘Sami’s story is gripping, heart-breaking and realistic, told with devastating clarity and compassion. This perspective is urgently needed, showing the richness of the lives left behind in Syria as the war forces a terrible journey to safety.’
Liz Flanagan, children’s author
‘A.M. Dassu’s ‘Boy, Everywhere’ is a powerful story about the plight of refugees. I was hooked on Sami’s story and my heart was in my throat from the very beginning of the book. This story is full of empathy and friendship and I’m so glad the world will get to read it soon. Sami and his family face heart-breaking prejudice whilst they seek asylum in the UK and these realities need to be told. This will be such an important book for the classroom in the same vein as Onjali Q. Raúf’s ‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’. A.M. Dassu’s writing is gripping and emotive and she manages a perfect balance of tragedy, adversity and hope.’
Swapna Haddow – children’s author of Dave Pigeon and the forthcoming novel ‘Torn Apart – The Partition of India, 1947’
‘Boy, Everywhere is a moving and timely coming-of-age story that explores the unique experiences of Sami, an ordinary boy from Damascus whose whole life and understanding of the world is torn apart in the wake of a shopping mall bombing. Sami – with his love of football, computer games and iPads – is such a relatable character, and we follow him through a powerful and heartbreaking journey of growth as his family flee Syria for the (hoped-for) safety of the UK. Along the way, Sami must confront many of his own sheltered beliefs about himself, his family, morality and the world. In the same way, through her compassionate and heartfelt story-telling, A. M. Dassu moves us to open our own eyes to the issues facing refugee families today. A powerful, compassionate and enlightening book.’
Dr. Philippa East, Clinical Psychologist and Author
‘A brave book for our times: a fresh look at a story we think we know, full of danger and leavened with humanity. ‘
Dr. N M Browne writer and creative writing lecturer
‘You’ll wish you were there, in Syria, and whisper to the boy a few kind words, to give him soap and hot water in Turkey, and stand by him as he makes the nightmare sea-crossing to Greece. You’ll wish you were there, in the detention centre, and fight Air Jordans man alongside him. You’ll wish you were there because no one else was there to open their front door and welcome him in England. And without realizing, effortlessly and mysteriously, this story will take you there, because that’s what a good novel does: with pages sprinkled with magic, this book will transport you, as it did me; sitting comfortably at the other side of hope, I was there with that boy, everywhere, living through the stories that many of the refugees I work with have talked to me about.’
Dr. Alexandros Plasatis – Refugee worker, ethnographer and writer.
‘In a world full of stories about refugees, ‘Boy, Everywhere’ tells the story behind the story.
When the Syrian civil war finally reaches Damascus, Sami’s safe and relatable life quickly begins to disintegrate. You cannot help but feel bereft as his friends and belongings are hurriedly left behind and exchanged for a life of confusion and uncertainty.
This book all too realistically charts the swift dismantling of a family’s life. It suddenly becomes easy to understand how a comfortable, well-off existence, can quickly descend into poverty and chaos – how a family’s fate might ultimately be decided in a small boat crossing an inhospitable sea. My heart ached for Sami, leaving everything that he knows behind, and for his parents who can no longer reassure their children that everything will ever be ok again.
Sami’s story is heart breaking and will open people’s eyes and hearts to the plight of refugees everywhere. In a world of ‘othering’ this book does the opposite – it shows clearly that ‘they’ are also ‘us’.
The characters in this book are so relatable, with beautifully drawn details, and the pacing is spot on – I read it in a single sitting. It is a book that should be available in every classroom – it is a book to change hearts.’
Catherine Emmett, children’s author
I couldn’t put this down – what a story! I was on tenterhooks as Sami and his family fled Syria. It felt like I was there with them. I sobbed. I held my breath. I willed them on. This is a story crying out to be heard, and every young person should read it.
Kate Mallinder, children’s author
In Boy, Everywhere, A.M. Dassu draws us into the world of 13-year-old Sami, forced out of his comfortable Damascus life into the nightmarish existence of a refugee. In this close first-person narrative the reader is confronted with the terrible realities of war, people-smuggling, detention centres and prejudice. Dassu skilfully writes a story that feels acutely authentic, while always keeping it age-appropriate for its upper middle grade audience. A must read.
Kirsty Applebaum, children’s author
‘An astonishingly powerful and gripping story that has torn my heart apart and put it back together again. Despite the harrowing journey, the seemingly endless uncertainty and struggle, AM Dassu still manages to uplift the reader with such beautiful moments of human kindness. I’ll be thinking about this book for a very, very long time.’
Rashmi Sirdeshpande, children’s author
‘I felt thoroughly harrowed (as indeed I should). Such an important book – and so timely. Massive congrats on your achievement.’
Tanya Landman, Carnegie Award Winning children’s author
“An adventure for our times. Full of heart, and with an understanding of the humanity of all people, and the complexity of the decision to leave one’s beloved home to start all over again, somewhere strange and difficult. Funny, moving, exciting, enraging by turns, I read most of it through my fingers as the plot twisted and turned to its uplifting but realistic conclusion. A must read for everybody.”
Joanna de Guia, former bookseller, school librarian
‘Good books leave you a little bit changed, Boy, Everywhere made me want to change the world. Everyone should read this book.’
Kathryn Evans, children’s author
“I started Boy, Everywhere planning to nibble away at a chapter before getting on with my work. I stayed reading until the very end. It’s a story that everyone should read, written with empathy, tenderness and hope.”
Patrice Lawrence, award winning children’s author.
THE NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS’ BOOK AWARD – part of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups: http://www.northsomersetteachersbookaward.com/blog/2020/6/28/boy-everywhere
“A. M. Dassu engenders her characters and setting with such tangibility that we feel as though we are part of it. Boy, Everywhere is recommended highly to older readers. What a moving, necessary, raw book.” – @bookwagonuk
Children’s bookseller at Waterstones: https://bellisdoesbooks.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/boy-everywhere
“It’s strange how we’d got used to the war in Syria and thought it wouldn’t affect us…But then everyone in Syria thought the war wouldn’t affect them- until it did.” 13-year-old Sami and his family flee their (until recently) privileged comfortable life in Damascus for safety in the UK. The journey is long, often impeded by both opportunists and unyielding, inhumane beaurocratic systems. And, in the end, it seems ‘sanctuary’ isn’t always kind. Nor comfortable.
Publishers submit a number of refugee narratives to Letterbox Library every year but very few manage to communicate the pain and lived trauma of the people making those journeys while also according refugees full humanity, dignity, and agency. Boy Everywhere is one of those very rare, authenticating and ‘humanising’ narratives. It is also a captivating story. From a debut writer, this is one remarkable achievement! In the words of London-based Syrian author, Nadine Kaadan, “I feel that it’s the first time I’ve read an English novel about our country without feeling strange or alienated from our own culture. I can’t think of a more empowering book about Syrian refugees. At a time when most children’s books about Syria are full of cultural appropriation and are very far away from the reality of our lives back home, this book is a must read for anyone who wants to expand their minds, bookshelves and most importantly, for those who want to overcome and challenge the negative stereotypes of Syria and Syrian refugees in literature.” Age 9-13, Paperback 283pp
“Sami’s story is shocking; it is powerful, emotive and heartbreakingly real… It is more than just a story. This lovingly researched and emphatic book shows us just how easy it is for a typical teenage life to be turned upside down, for success to crumble and for normality to be stripped brutally from under our feet. This timely book is a terrifying but humble reminder that we are all one cruel twist of fate from losing everything… but despite that, there is still hope.
Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for this book; it forced me into a world that is almost quite literally knocking on our doors for help… A world in which I think we have all, quite frankly, become dissattached to. It made me step out of my own preconceptions, my fears, my ignorance, and into the shoes of a parallel – but very real – life.
Embarking on this journey with Sami was a shocker, a heartreaker, an eye opener…but also, somehow, a joy.
‘Boy, Everywhere’ is the book everyone should read this autumn, for so many reasons.”
More reviews available upon request. Media reviews will be uploaded closer to publication day.
EVENTS AND PUBLIC SPEAKING
A. M. Dassu is a confident speaker who has in the past been interviewed for television and hosted charity auctions and events. She is happy to discuss interviews and school visits in person or via Skype/Zoom. Please contact her here.
- She has been delivering school workshops since 2016, using her experience of class observations as a school governor. More information on these here.
- In February 2019, A. M.Dassu read a chapter from Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon to a big audience at the Southbank Centre in London
- In February 2020, A. M.Dassu moderated a panel of ambassadors at the Inclusive Minds A Place At The Table Conference to an audience of publishers, booksellers and authors.
- She pitched her book directly to booksellers at the at Publishers Association Conference.
- She delivered a short workshop on authentic inclusion at the Children’s Media Conference on 6th July 2020.
- Her WOWCON writing workshop in September 2020 on representation and authenticity in children’s books sold out in 1 hour!
- She chaired a panel discussing the opening pages of manuscripts with Asmaa Isse (Assistant Editor, Penguin Random House Children’s), Dave Rudden (Middle Grade author, Puffin), and Lydia Silver (Agent, Darley Anderson) for the WOWCON conference in September 2020.
- The launch for her MG novel Boy, Everywhere was on 21st October 2020. It was the biggest online launch this pandemic and made industry news the next day!
- She is also one of The Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign authors which aims to help inspire a love of reading and writing in children and young people and will be delivering events in Black Country between January and April 2021.
- She is the lead author alongside international bestseller Matt Haig for Litfest 2021.