When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, and Iman Geddy
Be like a star. Shine your light. Shine your story.
Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed's When Stars Are Scattered introduces readers to the reality of survival for displaced individuals, an existence filled with deprivation, uncertainty, and boredom.
Jamieson is a masterful storyteller. She brilliantly describes her childhood interests in Roller Girl, a Newbery Honor Award book and All’s Faire in Middle School. Now she steps away from personal experience to chronicle the childhood of Somali refugees Omar Mohamed and his younger brother Hassan.
The narrative is based on Omar’s memories. He and Hassan escaped Somalia's civil war, lost contact with their parents, and were given shelter at a camp located in Kenya. Looked after by a kind woman, they subsist on meager rations and sleep in a tiny tent. Omar assumes responsibility for disabled brother's daily care. Life changes when a UN worker suggests that Omar attend a school organized for the camp's children. Education becomes his lifeline and an escape from the grim reality of camp life. Fifteen long years later, the two resettle in Arizona.
Color tends to be flat except the expanse of sky, where a breathtaking array of hues ranging from soft pinks to deep blues are sprinkled with the glimmering pinpoints of tiny stars. The sky appears limitless.
This seminal work written for children is a must read for all ages. A harrowing story well told. A story of humanity and possibility.