Fourteen-year old Syrian refugee Ahmed has lost his entire family in the Syrian War and during their escape to Europe. He finds himself stranded in Brussels after having lost his last family member, his father, and his money and cell phone to an unscrupulous smuggler. He takes refuge behind an unlocked door to the unused wine cellar in Max’s townhouse.
The boys meet and bond and so begins the dangerous story of hiding Ahmed from the authorities and finding a place for him to thrive.
They make some friends and together learn about a historical parallel that took place in the same residential block seventy-three years earlier. During WW II someone hid an orphan Jewish refugee from the holocaust. He was turned in by neighbors who were Nazi collaborators. The boys are determined that this will not happen to Ahmed but as the police search for terrorists the danger escalates.
"A resistance novel for our time." - The New York Times
"A hopeful story about recovery, empathy, and the bravery of young people." - Booklist
"This well-crafted and suspenseful novel touches on the topics of refugees and immigrant integration, terrorism, Islam, Islamophobia, and the Syrian war with sensitivity and grace." - Kirkus, Starred Review
Tessa's Picks, 5-8th grade, Character Driven, Fast paced, Global perspectives, Historical Fiction.