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Take a journey of survival with A. M. Dassu

A photo of author of the week, A.M. Dassu
An image of the book cover Boy Everywhere, by A.M. Dassu

Our author of the week is A.M. Dassu!

Kick start the bank holiday and the rest of your week with a new read! Our author of the week, A.M. Dassu, is sharing her book Boy, Everywhere for you to read for FREE! It’s all about Sami’s journey to the UK to escape the war in Syria. You can watch a video all about why A.M. Dassu wrote the book and how she broke down stereotypes about Syria, discover her favourite children's books and read a Q&A on what she likes most about reading.

If you enjoy reading this book, your local library service has loads more ebooks to borrow for FREE. Ask your parents to help you join.

Watch the video

A.M. Dassu - Author of the week

Read Boy, Everywhere by A.M. Dassu

Boy, Everywhere covers the harrowing journey taken by Sami and his family from privilege to poverty, across countries and continents, from a comfortable life in Damascus, via a smuggler's den in Turkey, to a prison in Manchester. This book is a story of survival, family and bravery. It's a reminder that in a world where we are told to see refugees as the 'other', these characters are 'they' are also 'us'.

A.M. Dassu's recommended reads

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

This wonderfully illustrated novel is about a Chinese family that migrates to Australia after their father dies, and their struggles to settle in to their new country. The story shows Jingwen slowly overcoming his fears and grief, and embracing the move like his little brother and mother have.

It’s a charming story in which food and cooking is used as comfort and a coping mechanism.

The Boy Who Met a Whale by Nizrana Farook

The perfect follow up to The Girl Who Stole an Elephant. This is a page turning adventure, packed with constant danger following Razi, Zheng and Shifa wherever they go.

I loved all three characters – they all made a fab team and of course the blue whale too! I was with them the whole way, cheering them on to the very satisfying ending. It’s the perfect escape into a gorgeous, warm and lush climate. I wish I was in Serendib right now!

Otherland by Louie Stowell

A hugely uplifting fantasy story, with two adorable and different characters, and fairies as you’ve never met them before – sassy and hilarious! Myra and Rohan must pass a set of challenges to save Rohan’s baby sister from the Fairy Queen.

I haven't laughed so much while reading! And the genius is that underneath the terrifying adventure, it is a tender story full of warmth and love.

Q&A with A.M. Dassu

If you could be a storybook character, who would you be?

Ooh what a great question! I think I see myself in Spot the Dog because I’d very much like to hide from everyone and curl up and have a good nap!

But I am more of a Cinderella at the moment, tidying up after everyone and not going to any parties or balls!

And I’d love to be more like Matilda. Imagine reading ALL of the books in the library, even the big thick ones and THEN being able to move objects and float them in the air with your eyes! THAT WOULD BE AMAZING wouldn't it?

What is the best thing about reading?

Reading helps you explore worlds you’d never have imagined. I love it because when I’m reading a good book, I am able to switch off from everything and everyone around me and completely become part of another world. I learn so much about others but also myself because sometimes a character who is completely different to me might do something that I would do in that same situation and I realise how similar we are.

What can you do to get better at reading?

It’s completely okay not to like every book you come across, you just need to keep trying to find the right one. Just like you might not like every game you play or every type of food you try, you’ll only find something you like if you try different things — so books are just like that!

Read comics, newspaper articles, even subtitles in TV shows or movies. It’s all reading! And the more you read, the better you’ll become at it.