Jewish Values: Nowhere Boy

Place of Publication: 
New York
Publication Year: 
Number of Pages: 
362 p.
When Max’s family moves from Washington, DC to Brussels, he doesn’t think things could get worse. But then his parents inform him that he will be repeating 6th grade and attending a Belgian school instead of the American school with his sister. He barely understands French, has never used a fountain pen, and has no friends. But then he discovers a Syrian boy hiding in his basement wine cellar, who lost his mother and sister in the bombings in Aleppo and has been separated from his father, trying to reach freedom and safety in Europe. This is a beautifully written, well developed, and very timely story of friendship, resilience, and hope. While there are no Jewish characters or content, Max is inspired by the lessons of the Holocaust and it is HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) that comes to Ahmed’s aid in the end. Exemplifying Jewish values, Max and Ahmed both learn that “even in the darkest times and places, there were always good people, people who would help others out of the kindness of their hearts.”
Sydney Taylor Winner: