Written by Karim Shamsi-Basha
and Irene Latham
Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group
The courageous and true story of Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, who in the midst of the Syrian Civil War offered safe haven to Aleppo’s abandoned cats.
Aleppo’s city center no longer echoes with the rich, exciting sounds of copper-pot pounding and traditional sword sharpening. His neighborhood is empty—except for the many cats left behind.
Alaa loves Aleppo, but when war comes his neighbors flee to safety, leaving their many pets behind. Alaa decides to stay—he can make a difference by driving an ambulance, carrying the sick and wounded to safety. One day he hears hungry cats calling out to him on his way home. They are lonely and scared, just like him. He feeds and pets them to let them know they are loved. The next day more cats come, and then even more! There are too many for Alaa to take care of on his own. Alaa has a big heart, but he will need help from others if he wants to keep all of his new friends safe.
Primary ISBN: 9781984813787
Available As: Hardcover
Picture Book, Nonfiction, Age 05 and older
Community Represented: Syrian/Syrian American
Setting: Syria (Aleppo)
Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: In Home Country
Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience
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