Educator’s Guide on Cross-Group Friendship & the Syrian Refugee Crisis

The I’m Your Neighbor team was honored to partner with Louise El Yaafouri of Refugee Classroom on an extensive guide to help you teach and share the acclaimed middle grade novel, Nowhere Boy.

While visiting her family in Saida, Lebanon, Louise added ELL and Enrichment Modifications, Teaching Resources on the Syrian War, and more to the extensive classroom and reader discussion guide. Each of these resources are driven by the project’s guiding question,

“If a global crisis is a collection of thousands of personal stories, what do we all gain from knowing those stories and one another?”

Nowhere Boy received four starred reviews, was an ALA Notable Book 2019, a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2018, and a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Books of 2018.

The novel brings together Max, a white American boy whose family has moved to Brussels and Ahmed, an unaccompanied Syrian refugee boy whose painful journey leads to the same city. A dangerous encounter with a smuggler leads Ahmed to hide in Max’s basement.

The boys’ meeting is inevitable, but their trust and friendship is a triumph of their own making. This incredible book gives readers an intimate view of the cataclysmic Syrian war and refugee crisis and leads readers to understand that their actions are capable of combating a world crisis.

DOWNLOAD the Reader & Educator Guide