Zafir is living in Homs(Syria) with his parents after moving from Dubai. When he sees a body thrown from a car in the street his life changes forever. No-one stops to help and when Zafir assists his father, a doctor, in getting treatment for the injured man, a protester, an unstoppable chain of events begins.
Zafir starts to realise there is a lot he does not understand about Syria. Why does his best friend, Rami, move away with this family? Why does he write email messages to Zafir in code? How come Eleni, his new friend moves away too?
As a revolution begins in Syria, Zafir comes to realise his father, who has been arrested for aiding the injured protester in the hospital, and other members of his family are in terrible danger. His favourite uncle, Ghazi, is taking photos of what is taking place and his friend, Azzam Azzad is writing for a blog to let the world know the suffering of the Syrian people.
This is a compelling tale of revolution and the “little people” whose lives are turned upside down when it is in full flight. Zafir is quite wide-eyed and innocent at the beginning of the book, but by the end he is more worldly than he has ever been before. Even in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation, Zafir never loses hope – a testament to the reslience of children everywhere. He adapts to the situation around him and is a resourceful child. Zafir is also part of a family that straddles Christian and Muslim beliefs – a really interesting device that shows the differences, but also the similaries between the two doctrines, which is a masterstroke by Prue Mason. Because the events are seen through Zafir’s eyes, the complex situation in Syria is confusing and never “black and white”. This is what makes the stories in this series so believable and poignant and it is a credit to series creator and editor, Lyn White, that this authentic feel has been sustained through all six books in the current series
A gripping story from a child’s point of view, set during a turbulent time from the recent history of a fascintating country.
Recommended for ages 12 and up.