Wild Poppies (Hardcover)
Since the passing of their father, Omar has tried—and in his little brother Sufyan’s eyes, failed—to be the man of his family of Syrian refugees. As Omar waits in line for rations, longing for the books he left behind when his family fled their home, Sufyan explores more nontraditional methods to provide for his family. Ignoring his brother’s warnings, Sufyan gets more and more involved with a group that provides him with big rewards for doing seemingly inconsequential tasks.
When the group abruptly gets more intense—taking Sufyan and other boys away from their families, teaching them how to shoot guns—Sufyan realizes his brother is right. But is it too late for Sufyan to get out of this?
It’s left to the bookish Omar to rescue his brother and reunite his family. He will have to take charge and be brave in ways he has never dared to before.
P R A I S E
—School Library Connection
Marcia Lynx Qualey won a 2021 Palestine Book Award for her translation of Sonia Nimr's YA novel Wondrous Journeys in Amazing Lands, and her translation of the first book in Sonia's Thunderbird series will be out in Spring 2022. She is also founding editor of ArabLit and ArabLit Quarterly, and co-host of the BULAQ literary podcast.
“Hauntingly hopeful” — Kirkus
[STAR] “Stark without ever losing sight of hope or the humanity that picks itself up from the rubble of others’ folly, Saleh’s novel blooms with unforgettable beauty.”— Booklist (starred)
“Chilling.” — Publishers Weekly
“Saleh’s prose, translated from Arabic, is elegant but direct, avoiding descriptions of violence without dulling the emotional impact of the tragedies in these brothers’ lives. Omar and Sufyan just want safety and reliable sources of food (and maybe some video games), and their alternating perspectives give readers two access points to a story that shines a light on the threats, both present and in the future, that refugee children face.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A moving portrait of the horrors of armed conflict” — Horn Book