1 (edited by CThompson 2019-10-25 14:53:02)

Topic: Refugee: Alan Gratz

The other day I started a book called Refugee.  It is a book, unlike most others.  This book has multiple stories switching back and forth from stories.  I started the first and second storie with two children named Joseph and Isabelle.  It starts off with joseph waking up and all of a sudden there is a swarm of nazis tossing things all over the place and destroying everything in sight and taking Josephs's dad to jail, and that's the end of the beginning.  Isabelle is a young girl who lives in Cuba where there isn't much food supply for the tourists who need it more.  She has a calico cat which is also skinny and just bones but at least its not dead for people would eat cat just to have food. That's how far I read to and I can already tell it's going to be a good story.

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

I have read many good books in my day but this book is spectacular.  Isabell is at her home and leaves to the market with her father and grandfather so they could get their rations of food meanwhile Isabelle played her trumpet and was listening to hear her beat and heard glass breaking.  She kept playing her trumpet until she heard a scream and a loud pop from a gun.  There was smoke coming up behind a store and people were stealing things.  Cuba was in a riot.  Joseph was on a train to get his father from jail.  On the train, he got bored and went into the german cart of the train to see if people would know if he were Jewish.  Nobody noticed he was, he then went to the dining cart and got a newspaper and candy and then got caught by the Hitler youth.

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

In the book Refugee, the book introduced a new character named Mahmoud.  Mahmoud lives in Syria where there is a lot of war happening.  Mahmoud goes to school where he is bullied alongside another kid.  Mahmoud finds a solution to this by staying hidden.   He does this by keeping his hood up and head low, and I would imagine he wears a mask.  He plans to leave the country because of his and his brother's safety from the war and the bombs.

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

I read more of my book today and I was inclined to read more for once.  The book keeps getting progressively better as time goes on.  Mahmoud's apartment blew up alongside his entire neighborhood.  Isabelle's dad gets beat by police because he threw a bottle at them but Isabelle saves him.  Joseph meets his dad for the first time in a while and he acts panicked and says they will be coming soon and runs onto the boat without notice.

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

I just read for an hour straight, and I didn't know I could understand that long.  I guess I start with Isabelle, who is at home away from a place of rioting and her father says he has to leave immediately even though they don't have a boat.  Isabelle being, a good problem solver, went next door to her friend's house where he and his father where building a boat.  her neibors needed gas for the boat so Isabelle went to a fisherman's house to trade her trumpet, and kitten, for gasoline.  I can understand how difficult it is to get rid of and leave things behind.  The 2 families are carrying the boat to the water two police join them which they aren't allowed to do so the boat gets shot at.

6 (edited by CThompson 2019-10-31 14:34:28)

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

Joseph is still on the boat where he meets some people who he becomes friends with and they prank people.  Mahmoud's apartment had just been bombed and turned into rubble.  He is buried in a pile of rubble and he gets his brother out of it two.  His mother comes out telling Mahmoud to get his brother and newborn sister out of the apartment while she grabs some things.  They get out and all the buildings go down as dominoes and Maumoud remembers about his mom.  his mom had come out of a pile of dust with 2 backpacks filled with their belongings and his father meets up with him.

I couldn't imagine having my house blow up and not knowing if my mom was safe.  If that were me I would automatically think she was dead, and my dad too.  I would be scared poopless if I were caught in a pile of rubble and struggled to get out.  I would think that was the end for me.

7 (edited by CThompson 2019-10-31 14:30:38)

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

The book progresses with Mahmoud's father talking to his family about moving, and how they should have done that since the beginning, and how they were planning on doing so, but later in their life.  The war had gotten too real and their apartment is blown up, so they had no choice.  They planned to go to Germany and live there.  They first travel by car.  On their way, they find a group of soldiers with semi-auto assault rifles and camouflage suits.  They asked which side they supported and there was silence until Mahmoud's brother Waleed says "the ones who aren't bombing us" Saving the family from being shot.  The soldiers for some reason get in the car with them and tell them where to drive.  The family drives for a while until the car gets shot at and one of the soldiers dies ontop of Mahmoud and scares him to oblivion.  They fumble out of the car and their dad grabs his phone so they don't get lost and die.

What really surprised me on my journey in reading this is how the car gets shot out of nowhere because when I was reading I could feel how scared I would be if somebody with a bullet in their head was just staring me down,  laying on top of me.

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

It has been quite a while since I have posted a book talk.  The thing is I just am too lazy to read during the weekends but that all change this weekend where I'll finish refugees and make 10 book talks on it.  I left off at joseph on the boat where he and his family where staying until they get to Cuba.  He is put on watch by one of his friends while they lock all the stall doors.  Joseph goes to tell one of the guards and hears them overtalking about what might happen if there are too many refugees in Cuba and how they might send them back to Germany.

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

In the past few days, I read for 2 hours meaning I have about 4 or so book talks to cover.  I left off a long time ago with Joseph overhearing the idea that they might not be allowed in Cuba.  Joseph's story continues with him going on a tour of the engine room of the boat.  When on the boat he is told about the speed of the boat and how it works.  When Joseph sees the boat fully cranked to the max speed he says to the captain "Are we going full speed to race the other two boats" causing silence in the room.  They slowly get down to a room where there are Nazis singing very loudly and scaring the children with the words of the song translated along the lines of "with Jewish blood on the knife we shall celebrate."  scaring the bejesus out of them.  If I were the children on the boat I would be extremely scared of the nazis because they were killing and capturing jews to put into camps.

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

Isabelle's story involves her family all on the boat with a sock in the bullethole to stop leakage but it doesn't work that well with it dripping water into the boat.  They were having fun singing and dancing until the motor suddenly stopped and they went quiet.  The motor wasn't working the family was panicked and to add more spice to the mix there was a large ship headed right for them.  The boat moves and goes straight for the ship making the reader think that the ship is going to destroy them and their boat but all of a sudden the motor starts again giving them all hope until one of the fathers falls int the dark ocean water with Isabell going in after him.  If I were anybody on the boat I would already accept my death and say goodbye to my loved ones instead of panicking.

11 (edited by CThompson 2019-11-25 15:38:43)

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

Mahmoud continues his journey with walking and walking and walking until he and his family reach the border of turkey where they find a camp for refugee's and there is a lot of them.  They find out that there is a boat that leaves to Europe that people travel on to get out of the place but when they find it there is a smuggler that the smuggler says will be later and he would text when it happened.  and whenever the smuggler did text the boat had already left.  They had no place to stay so they ask a little boy who is selling things to people if he had a place to stay.  And of course, he did.  They slept in a mall for a couple of days until they get kicked out by some wannabe gangsters and with no place to stay a car drives by and asks if they need a place to stay and he does until the family gets a text that the boat was there and with a car they made it just in time.

12 (edited by CThompson 2019-11-27 13:37:17)

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

I read more into my book and it is getting more and less interesting all the time.  For josephs story, he stays on the boat for a long while long enough to see other ships get to Cuba and the passengers traveling got on to the island.  Two ships in total made it but the large one was left afloat at sea about 2 kilometers away from land.
  Isabelle is grabbed from the water after being thrown around in the dark ocean blue and finding Senior Castillo and she gets pulled out of the water and back on the boat safely.

13 (edited by CThompson 2019-12-06 16:19:18)

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

I just read more of my book refugees for 15 minutes.  not much has happened but a lot.  Mahmoud and all of his family get on a rubber dinghy that gets a hole in it and all the passengers fall out.  His mother has Hanna but she has to let her go so she gives her to another mother who came on another boat.  They make it to shore safely.  Joseph's father jumps out of the boat and is rescued by a policeman who is later thanked by all the passengers and there is a party held for him.  Isabelle's mother goes into the contraction stage of labor.  That is just a quick summary of what happened in the last couple/50 pages in my book.  I can very rarely relate to the people in this book because they are all in a larger situation than I will ever be in.  If I lost my sister I would be very sad but as long as she is alive I would still have hope.  If I were stuck on a boat with nowhere to go and I had a feeling I wouldn't get off the boat I would be scared.  If my mother was in labour while we are in the middle of the ocean I would both be scared for my mom and her baby because they might not survive.  I would do anything to keep my family alive at those hard times.

Re: Refugee: Alan Gratz

I have just finished the next chapter of, "Refugee" and there is a twist.  After having a friendly conversation on the boat like what they're going to name the boat a gang of sharks attack them and bite Ivan in the leg and he bleeds out and dies.  If I were on the boat I would be in shock.  I wouldn't know what to do.  I would either panache or just do nothing.  I am not a very tolerant guy so I wouldn't know what to do.