Kuklin, who has previously written about similar issues (see 2019’s We Are Here To Stay), does a brilliant job of capturing and transmitting the gripping, often raw, but always hopeful first-person testimonies, and readers cannot help but feel empathy for the individuals as they learn the horrors they survived (but never overcame, in some cases). A brutal, must-read account.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The firsthand accounts of war, abduction into sex slavery, torture, and loss can be difficult to read, but they make plain the desperate plight of people seeking asylum, making this work an important addition to any collection. Each story is accompanied by explanatory text from the author, along with photographs that acquaint the reader with the refugee and their circumstances. Back matter provides information on the resettling process, agencies mentioned, and a historical timeline for each country.
—Publishers Weekly Online (starred review)
Representing Afghanistan, Myanmar, South Sudan, Iraq, and Burundi, these five refugees all offer testimony on the realities of growing up in a refugee camp, being sold into slavery, and then finding refuge. All five refugees possess the will to survive and to seek safety for themselves and their families…The book calls attention to problems in countries at war and how people can seek help, become a citizen, or resettle in the United States through certain agencies.
—School Library Connection
This continues Kuklin’s substantial body of nonfiction centering the lives of marginalized individuals…Candid and posed photographs add valuable visual information. A significant theme threading through the stories is how long and involved the refugee resettlement experience is, usually taking years, reams of paperwork, and constant diligence on the part of every person involved. A necessary addition to middle-school curriculum.
The circumstances of all five refugees were perilous and frightening; their tenacity and courage (and even humor) are salutary. An exemplary appendix of notes and resources broadens the impact of the individual accounts; the accounts themselves personalize the crisis and statistics.
—The Horn Book
The photo-illustrated stories range from heartbreaking to utterly terrifying, and even the smoothest outcomes involve danger, disorientation, or multiple attempts to find a location that offers support, employment, and education…Readers who found Kuklin’s We Are Here to Stay (BCCB 12/18) illuminating will want to explore this facet of American immigration.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books