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Benjamin Zephaniah

Refugee Boy

Alem is on holiday with his father for a few days in London. He has never been out of Ethiopia before and is very excited. They have a great few days togther until one morning when Alem wakes up in the bed and breakfast they are staying at to find the unthinkable. His father has left him. It is only when the owner of the bed and breakfast hands him a letter that Alem is given an explanation. Alem's father admits that because of the political problems in Ethiopia both he and Alem's mother felt Alem would be safer in London — even though it is breaking their hearts to do this. Alem is now on his own, in the hands of the social services and the Refugee Council. He lives from letter to letter, waiting to hear from his father, and in particular about his mother, who has now gone missing… A powerful, gripping new novel from the popular Benjamin Zephaniah
221 printed pages
Publication year
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


  • Charlene Gatesshared an impression18 days ago

    A very good book for ESL students

  • Sasha Mikhedovshared an impression2 years ago
    👎Give This a Miss

    Perfect for reading in English (intermediate level), but the story is trivial enough.

  • Mehman Farziyevshared an impression3 years ago
    👍Worth reading


  • gnanzoutanguy19has quoted5 months ago
    Amhara tribe of Ethiopia.

    The place where The father of Alem comes from

  • Богдана Євгеюкhas quoted6 months ago
    When I hear politicians saying that we are being ‘flooded’ by refugees, I always remind myself that each ‘refugee’ is a person, a person who for some reason has left everything they know and love to find safety in a strange and sometimes hostile country. I wrote Refugee Boy because I realised that every day I was meeting refugees, and each one of them had a unique and usually terrifying story to tell.
  • linh vuhas quoted2 years ago
    tanding before him was his father. His arms were outstretched and his smile said, Come and get me! Alem leaped from the bed straight into his arms. He hugged him hard, speaking to him in Amharic.

    Alem's father came

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