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list price: $8.99
also available: Paperback
category: Children's Fiction
published: Sep 2012
publisher: Second Story Press

A Long Way from Home

by Alice Walsh

tagged: emigration & immigration, prejudice & racism

Thirteen-year-old Rabia, along with her mother and younger brother, flee Afghanistan and the brutal Taliban for Pakistan. Relocating to North America, their flight falls on the fateful morning of 9/11. After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, their plane is diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. Also on the plane is an American boy named Colin, who struggles with his prejudices against Rabia and her family. The people in the small community of Gander, including teens Jason and Leah, open their hearts and their homes to the stranded passengers, volunteering to billet the hundreds of unexpected visitors to the island. Their kindness might be the bridge to understanding and acceptance that Colin and Rabia need.

About the Author
Alice Walsh

Alice Walsh was born and raised in Newfoundland. She is the award-winning author of several children’s books including Pomiuk: The Little Prince of the North (2004), Heroes of Isle aux Mortes (2001), and Uncle Farley’s False Teeth (1998). Walsh has received the Children’s Book Centre choice award and was shortlisted for the Hackmatack award. A former preschool teacher, she lives in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
9 to 13
4 to 8
Reading age:
9 to 13

Buy this book at:


Top  Grade
Librarian review

A Long Way From Home

An Afghan girl, an American boy, and the resilient residents of a small town are thrown together when dozens of planes are grounded in Gander, Newfoundland after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. In the middle of tragedy they find unexpected kindness, friendship, and hope.

Students often need narratives to help them understand traumatic world events. In this novel, the 9/11 crisis is experienced through the lives of an Afghan girl and an American boy. Terrorist attacks may seem incomprehensible, but readers can sympathize and try to understand the essential need to be resilient when such horrifying events unfold. Set in Gander, Newfoundland, this novel will be useful to help students understand Canada’s part in the tragedy that took place before they were born.

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

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