Faber to publish When Stars Are Scattered, a remarkable graphic novel depicting life in a refugee camp through the eyes of a child. Omar Mohamed’s heart-wrenching true story is brought to life with stunning illustrations from bestselling graphic novelist, Victoria Jamieson.
Omar and his brother Hassan, two Somali boys, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Separated from their mother, they are looked after by a friendly stranger. Life in the camp isn’t always easy and the hunger is constant . . . but Omar devotes everything to taking care of his young brother and pursuing his education.
When Stars Are Scattered is an intimate, important and unforgettable look at the lives of these young refugees, that will restore your faith in real-life happy endings. Omar now lives in the US and is the founder of Refugee Strong, a non-profit organisation that empowers students living in refugee camps.
Victoria Jamieson said: ‘It was a tremendous honour to work with Omar in telling his story. My deepest concern was staying true to his memories while drawing the story as a graphic novel. I remain deeply touched by Omar and Hassan’s story, and I hope it will resonate with readers as well.’
Omar Mohamed said: ‘Through reading my story, I hope readers gain an understanding of why no one would ever want to leave their country unless circumstances forced them to leave. I also hope When Stars Are Scattered shows how one kind action can have such a huge influence in another’s life.’
Alice Swan, Faber Editorial Director, said: ‘The reader response to this has been extraordinary. The recipient of numerous starred reviews in the US, this incredible true story of two boys and their time in a Kenyan refugee camp will engage young readers with its everyday stories of friendship, school, football games and meal times, whilst encouraging them to imagine these things in the extreme camp setting. A beautiful, deeply moving and personal graphic novel that will inspire empathy and compassion. Unmissable.’
Swan acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Kim Ryan at Penguin Young Readers US. Co-written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illustrated by Jamieson and coloured by Iman Geddy, When Stars Are Scattered will be published on 2nd July 2020.
Further praise for When Stars Are Scattered:
- ‘This engaging, heartwarming story does everything one can ask of a book, and then some.’ Kirkus
- ‘A personal and poignant entry point for young readers trying to understand an unfair world.’ Publishers Weekly
- ‘Fantastic graphic novel… Jamieson’s lively charismatic art and Mohamed’s remarkable life story will make young readers care about Omar and Hassan.’ The New York Times Book Review
- ‘With this sensitive and poignant tale, Jamieson and Mohamed express the power of the human spirit to persevere.’ School Library Journal
- ‘This beautiful memoir is not to be missed.’ Booklist