tr. from Danish. illus. by Lars Horneman. 96p. Triangle Square. Oct. 2018. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781609808730.
Gr 6–8—As Amina, a young Syrian refugee journeying by sea, is thrown off a boat by a huge wave and sinks into the deep water, she reflects on what brought her here. She remembers playing hide-and-seek and making dolmas with her mother. Her parents left, saying they would be home soon, and her mother reminded her to be strong like Zenobia, the queen of Syria in the old days. When her parents didn't return, her uncle took her away. Scenes of Amina in the water are illustrated in full color, while her memories are depicted in sepia tones, and striking hues of peach and indigo are used for the story of Zenobia. The comic alternates between large panels and full-page illustrations and is paired with spare text, making it a quick read. Owing to the difference in lengths between the Danish and English translations, some text boxes contain extra white space. Readers may not feel that invested in this moving but slight narrative. There's little context about the war in Syria, but educators might want to use the book as a jumping-off point for a more detailed discussion. The tale ends on a hopeless note that may be upsetting to sensitive readers.
VERDICT Pair with Eoin Colfer's Illegal to start a dialogue on refugees and immigration.

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