Homes: A Refugee Story is the first Canadian book to be chosen for the world’s largest digital book club - Freehand Books

Homes: A Refugee Story is the first Canadian book to be chosen for the world’s largest digital book club

Homes: A Refugee Story has been selected as OverDrive’s Big Library Read ebook for April 2019. From April 1–15, patrons of more than 19,000 libraries around the world can borrow, read and discuss the ebook with no waitlists or holds. It is the first Canadian book to be selected for this program.

Homes chronicles the struggles of the al Rabeeah family who left their home in Iraq for Syria in hope of a safer life – just before the Syrian civil war broke out. Abu Bakr, one of eight children, was ten years old when the violence began on the streets around him: car bombings, attacks on his mosque and school, firebombs late at night. Homes tells of the strange juxtaposition of growing up as a typical teenager in a war zone: horrific, unimaginable events punctuated by normalcy – soccer, cousins, video games, friends. Homes is a 2019 Canada Reads contender and 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award finalist for nonfiction. It was chosen for the Big Library Read by a popular vote of readers and librarians worldwide.

“It brings such joy to Abu Bakr and me that his wish of wanting to tell the world of Syria’s plight is being fulfilled in such a far-reaching way,” said Homes author Winnie Yeung. “For this is the magic of books: they don’t just feed our imaginations, they build bridges of understanding. The relationship of sharing, receiving and honoring each other is the true gift of storytelling —something I am so grateful to be a partner in.”

About Big Library Read: OverDrive, the leading library lending platform for ebooks, audiobooks and magazines facilitates this international reading program that simultaneously connects millions of readers around the world. The program began in 2013 and Homes: A Refugee story in the 18th selection. 90 percent of public libraries in North America participate; only a library card from a participating library system is required to take part. Readers can join an online discussion about the book at

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