Elizabeth Laird, author of The Fastest Boy in the World has written a novel about the Syrian refugee crisis.
Welcome to Nowhere focuses on a 12-year-old Omar who has to flee his family home in Bosra when the bombs begin to fall.
Laird wrote the story after spending time volunteering in refugee camps in Jordan in 2015. She said: “We in the west, in the comfort of our homes, with our NHS, our free schools, our benefits and all our privileges, find it hard to grasp the fear and desperation of people who have lost everything, including their hope for the future. These people are people like us, with professions, lifestyles and families like ours. Unfortunately we are often encouraged by some of our politicians and our media to see them only as potential terrorists, as scroungers, as threats to our way of life.
“I wanted to show a family behind the statistics, parents and children caught up in a desperate civil war, coping in impossible circumstances in the best way they can.”
Welcome to Nowhere will be published by Macmillan Children’s Books in January 2017 and 50p from each sale of the hardback will be donated to an international aid agency supporting the Syrian refugee crisis.