Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird
Elizabeth Laird has drawn on her experience of volunteering in refugee camps in Jordan to write this novel which highlights the tragic situation that has developed in Syria.
The story is seen through the eyes of Omar and opens with an introduction to his daily life, going to school and working at two jobs, and to his family. A combination of factors lead to their having to leave their home and flee their country. Elizabeth Laird demonstrates that whatever line people pursue, whether it’s Omar’s brother Musa’s clandestine political activity or their father’s compromising attitude which he believes will protect his job and family, all are potentially in danger.
This novel covers important concerns regarding the treatment of refugees, the role of women and girls and the situation in the Middle East. However, it’s not purely an ‘issues’ book – these matters are raised within the context of an involving and fast-paced narrative with a central character with whom readers can empathise.
Elizabeth Laird was a speaker at our timely and important conference Reflecting Realities: British Values in Children’s Literature on 1 March 2017 which considered the role that children’s literature has to play in helping us make sense of the world around us and our place in it. More information.