No Ballet Shoes In Syria by Catherine Bruton

Book Review #277

Title: No Ballet Shoes In Syria

Author: Catherine Bruton

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Genres: Middle Grade

Format: Paperback

Source: Pansing

Publication Date: May 2, 2019

Pages: 260

Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria.

When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship.

But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves, and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria.

With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.

“A perfect balance of tragedy and triumph” – Natasha Farrant, author of The Children of Castle Rock

This story is insightful, heartwarming and about one girl’s journey to fight for her rights and her dream. As the title describes it, this is Aya’s journey of running away from what was once her home and leaving it behind in hopes for a better future for her family. This particular middle grade book has so much depth, Aya goes through so much and it was a very eventful ride through the end.

For Aya, doing ballet is her own coping mechanism and her passion. Anybody can tell just how much she loves it and I’m so glad that the people around her are so supportive. Its so nice to see that families and strangers even are willing to go to such length just to make her dream come true.

I never knew about the term ‘asylum seekers’ let alone ever heard of it. But when Aya explained what it meant, it left me feeling so ignorant and wanting to know more about the people that had dealt through and is going through this everyday. I just assumed that everyone were refugees and I was wrong. It is heartbreaking that there are so many families out there who has no choice but to run away from everything just to live a peaceful life. There has to be a way to end their suffering and waking up everyday going through a war zone. How many people needs to suffer? How manh more children are they willing to risk it all? Its unfair and it needs to stop. Immediately.

After reading this book, I feel more empathetic towards those who deal with this everyday. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have felt like to go through something as heart wrenching as that. They don’t deserve the prejudice and bullying as some people give them. Instead, we must welcome and help refugees and asylum seekers because they deserve more.


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