Welcome to Nowhere


Twelve-year-old Omar and his brothers and sisters were born and raised in the beautiful and bustling city of Bosra, Syria. Omar doesn’t care about politics all he wants is to grow up to become a successful businessman who will take the world by storm. But when his clever older brother, Musa, gets mixed up with some young political activists, everything changes . . .

Before long, bombs are falling, people are dying, and Omar and his family have no choice but to flee their home with only what they can carry. Yet no matter how far they run, the shadow of war follows them until they have no other choice than to attempt the dangerous journey to escape their homeland altogether. But where do you go when you can’t go home?

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12 thoughts on “Welcome to Nowhere

  1. When I read the first chapter of this amazing book, I knew it would be a kind of book you don’t read again! The book is about a 12 year old boy called Omar, who leaves his home as his dad moves jobs. But as Syria gets more dangerous they have to leave Daraa (as they are bombing the place) to a little farm with their auntie. While Syria is getting to a serious point they have to flee their home, but this time they have to leave Syria!

  2. This book was amazingly written. I found the story really gripping and felt a connection with Omar. This book was brilliant and I could read it over and over again

  3. Omar is a 12 year old boy living in a beautiful town in Syria. Bosra was a hive of activity, a labyrinth of lively streets and alleys. Omar lived a great life surrounded by a loving family and his best friends. A life full of pleasures he soon realised he took for granted. With a safe home, loving family and education, his childhood was filled with laughter and joy. He loved selling merchandise to tourists with his uncle Rasoul and he aspired to become a businessman, this dream guiding him through the most difficult, depressing and dismal moments of his life. As Omar clutched onto this dream, catastrophic events struck forcing Omar and his family to flee to the town of Daraa. War came over the horizon like a slow moving tank. Misery was drenched in the bombed houses and sidewalks, the pools of blood on the streets and desolate and destroyed remains of the once lively city. Some wanted the regime to change, others supported the government, but Omar didn’t care about politics at all. Brutal demonstrations and violent marches filled the cities streets and what was the government’s response? The summoning of thousands of soldiers, the bombing of major cities, senseless killing, torturing and arresting innocent civilians. Everyone knew what this meant. War. A three letter word that can obliterate anything. Omar’s family is once again on the run, but it seems like any where they go, a path of torment, brutality and conflict follows them.
    I love this book as it was different from lots of refugee themed books I’ve previously read. It really made me sympathise with refugees who have no home to return to, they feel like they belong to nobody at all. Omar had this dream of being an entrepreneur and it lead him through his life like a flashlight. It was like an object he would clasp onto, the last bit of hope, of something positive and bright.
    I think this book is not only about refugees but about dreams. Many view them as wild ambitions that may never come true; others as cherished aspirations that drag you through your life, motivate you to work harder. Some consider them as imagined fantasies that ought to be ignored but this book taught me to not just follow my dreams but to chase them.
    This book is an exceptional piece of writing. This poignant novel is gripping, fast paced, enlightening and thought provoking. I would recommend this book for children aged 10-14

    I can’t believe it ends like this, arrghhh I wish it went on!
    Such a good book would totally recommend it to anyone who was asking
    Omar and his family’s story was a total eye opener!

  5. Welcome to nowhere is a book about a 12 year old boy who lives in Syria with his brothers, sisters and parents. However his life is suddenly turned upside down when bombs hit Syria.I have just read welcome to nowhere. I really enjoyed this book because it had a lot of tension and suspense as you don’t know what to except next. Also, i liked how courageous and was inspired by Omar when he risked his life because he cares about his family so much he is willing to get hurt or even die to rescue his brother.

  6. Whilst reading this book, I felt an emotional connection with the characters. In a touching way, Elizabeth Laird describes Omar’s feelings, thoughts and dreams as his world falls apart. She has captured the experiences Omar and his family go through in a stirring novel. I would recommend this book.

  7. Welcome to nowhere is about people who live I Syria and it is getting bombed. It shows that they will do anything to survive.

  8. Mrs Harris

    I couldn’t put this book down. It is so much more than just a book about a war torn country – it’s about trying to live a normal life when all sense of normality has gone. Children still want to play and be children, adults still need to earn money, feed and clothe their children. You want to make friends and keep away from others. But how do you do that when no day is the same, when routine has gone and you can’t trust anyone you speak to?

    This story ends on a positive note with hope for the future for Omar and his family. But for me, the ending was less important that the story itself. And I can’t help but wonder what has happened to all the other characters in the story who wouldn’t have such a happy ending.

    Enjoy isn’t the right word to describe how I felt reading this book but it was captivating and thought provoking and I thoroughly recommend it to everyone, whatever your age.

  9. Welcome to nowhere is about people who live in Syria and it is getting bombed. It show that they will do anything to survive.

  10. This is not a children’s novel. It is a wake up call to all of us! A refugee is a person just like you or me. The book tells of the terrors of events in Syria and puts you there- it’s not just the incredible writing that makes you want to read on – it’s the feeling of empathy that it creates. But this is no piece of propaganda, this -sadly- is reality to many people across this so-called civilised globe.

    Read this book – then give it to your parents!

  11. Welcome to Nowhere is a thrilling story where war has started in Syria and bombs are falling everywhere. The story is about the journey to the refugee camps in Jordan. I would rate it ten out of ten.

  12. A deeply touching story which gives an insight to how terrible it must be to have to leave your home and be on the move from constant warfare. Syria is not a safe place to be for Omar and his family and this book portrays his journey and the feeling of hopelessness. However, the story is optimistic and inspirational.

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