A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.
Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi’s, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.
Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read writers in the world, with more than fifty-five million copies of his novels sold worldwide in more than seventy countries. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Sea Prayer is part poetry book part children’s book. It’s a hard and deeply sad read but it will open your eyes to experiences you never thought people would experience. Children should definitely read this one so they understand other children who have come from other countries. Such an important read.
These images are so potent. I was completely captured by their beauty while also feeling emotion from them. They complemented the poetry while contrasting it as well. So well done.
Many immigrants will resonate with this book. It was absolutely heart wrenching to read it but it’s so important for children to understand what life is like for refugees and those in war torn countries.
Children will learn a lot from this book! And some will definitely find themselves in the book as well, I know I did. The themes are deeply moving and strong. It’s a book that will resonate inside everyone.
**Thank you Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this beautiful book in exchange for an honest review.**