JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.

This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published on July 25, 2017 by Scholastic Press
ISBN-10: 0545880831
ISBN-13: 9780545880831
49 Book Reviews
  • serene_euphoria
    serene_euphoriaabout 1 month55 stars
    Three different perspectives. All from corrupt war-stricken countries. One objective. Escape. But how to get it? These characters all have shocking connections that could change them forever as well. This book is a masterpiece. Definitely recommended!
    • isabelaurbfhere
      isabelaurbfhere11 months55 stars
      Refugee is an incredible book. The author brilliantly tied together 3 stories together. Each one of them evokes its own emotions. The setting of each storyline takes place in a sad event in time. It's filled with suspense and should be read as soon as possible.
      • epeterson24
        epeterson2411 months55 stars
        I liked this book because it has different perspectives and it is interesting.
        • lofi_dragon
          lofi_dragonabout 1 year55 stars
          What would you do to save your family? That's the question three kids of different time periods ask themselves. Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930's Germany is kicked out of the country and has hopes to start a new life in Cuba and America with his mother and sister. His father was sent to a concentration camp and comes out barely alive, and fearful, taking on the travel with them. Will Josef be able to survive the journey? Isabel, a young Cuban girl in 1994 is forced out of her home since her father narrowly slipped his way out of a policeman's grasp. When she begins her journey to America, will she, her family, and her best friend's family, able to get to America alive? Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 tries to be invisible. When a missile hits his town, and his family and country divided, will Mahmoud be able to find his sister and restore peace? Alan Gratz has made this book a work of art. Fast-paced and sorrowful, if you want a book to read and like War Fiction, I bet you'd like this book. It's really a story of determination.
          • bsc
            bscover 1 year55 stars
            Imagine your home invaded by people who won't think once about your life and living. Imagine your home being torn apart by destruction and unwanted violence. Imagine your country being full of riots and violence. These are the lives of Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud. All from different time periods and different situations; they have one thing in common. They are fleeing their homes to find a better place. They are refugees. This book winds history, story, and the true realisation of life into one big masterpiece. Happy reading!
            • peachdove
              peachdoveover 1 year55 stars
              This book was the best, it talks about 3 children who are going through almost the same thing, to run away to a different place. They are all connected in some way. I would definitely recommend this book if you like historical fiction.
              • julieisatiger22
                julieisatiger22over 1 year55 stars
                I love this book! It was facts and real instances, but doesn't seem like it. The book has many different characters in different times, but all have something in common. They have to escape.
                • weworofy-160798470925
                  weworofy-160798470925over 1 year55 stars
                  There are 3 different story in one book. The 3 characters are going through the same things as each other .
                • hermionereader
                  hermionereaderalmost 2 years55 stars
                  This book was amazing! It's so hard to find books that capture your attention the moment you begin reading, but this book surely did!
                  • gaigebar2021
                    gaigebar2021about 2 years55 stars
                    Combined over 6.4 million people died in the Holocaust, Syrian War, And the Crisis in Cuba and thousands of Refugees fleeing to other countries trying to get their freedom according to the New York Times. Alan Gratz showed the ways people were treated and felt in all of these huge situations in history in this book combining 3 fictional characters and showing their journeys just how it happened in real life. All the characters in this story were fleeing their country Germany, Cuba, and Syria and they left for good reasons, saving themselves from extreme danger. Josef, Muhammed, and Isabel were all children when really bad stuff happened in their country making them flee to countries letting them in. Many people tried to hurt them and people like them in their era Fidel Castro, Cuban Police, Adolf Hitler, Nazis,Aleppo so many people just tried to hurt them and make them scared. Just a explanation on how bad it was Muhammads apartment got exploded, Someone's father got beat up by police it was terrible. Refugee was really cool. It had real events with fictional characters and people who like history with a little bit of fiction that were about 12 and up would love this book.