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Our Big Library Read for April: Homes: A Refugee Story


Join thousands of readers worldwide to discover a remarkable true story through the largest global digital book club, Big Library Read.

From April 1–15, booklovers can borrow, read and discuss Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung’s heartbreaking yet hopeful Homes: A Refugee Story ebook from the Ottawa Public Library with no waitlists or holds. More than 19,000 libraries around the world are participating.

Homes: A Refugee Story, was a 2018 Governor General's Literary Award finalist for nonfiction,  recently debated on Canada Reads 2019, and now chosen by a popular vote of readers and librarians worldwide for Big Library Read.

Homes: A Refugee Story chronicles the struggles of the al Rabeeah family who left their home in Iraq for Syria in hope of a safer life – just before the Syrian civil war broke out. Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was ten years old when the violence began on the streets around him: car bombings, attacks on his mosque and school, firebombs late at night. Homes tells of the strange juxtaposition of growing up as a typical teenager in a war zone: horrific, unimaginable events punctuated by normalcy – soccer, cousins, video games, friends – before finding refuge in Canada.

Readers can join an online discussion about the book at The free program runs for two weeks and only requires an Ottawa Public Library card to get started.

Homes: A Refugee Story can be read on all major computers and devices through Libby or, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™ without waitlists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees.

Image: Homes


A Refugee Story
By al Rabeeah, Abu Bakr