Elizabeth Laird's Welcome to Nowhere to be published by Macmillan Children’s Books

29 September 2016

By Macmillan Children's Books

Elizabeth Laird, the award-winning author of Oranges In No Man’s Land has written a book about the Syrian refugee crisis, which we are proud to be publishing in January 2017.

Welcome to Nowhere tells the story of twelve-year-old Omar and his family, born and raised in the beautiful and bustling city of Bosra, Syria.

Omar doesn't care about politics – all he wants is to grow up to become a successful businessman who will take the world by storm. But when his clever older brother, Musa, gets mixed up with some young political activists, everything changes. Very soon, bombs are falling, people are dying, and Omar and his family have no choice but to flee their home with only what they can carry. Yet no matter how far they run, the shadow of war follows them  until they have no other choice than to attempt the dangerous journey to escape their homeland altogether. 
In the winter of 2015, Elizabeth Laird travelled to Jordan to volunteer in two refugee camps. Elizabeth couldn’t help but be moved by the plight and the stories of the people she met, and Welcome to Nowhere is a result of her experiences there.
Elizabeth Laird says,

'We in the west, in the comfort of our homes, with our NHS, our free schools, our benefits and all our privileges, find it hard to grasp the fear and desperation of people who have lost everything, including their hope for the future. These people are people like us, with professions, lifestyles and families like ours. Unfortunately we are often encouraged by some of our politicians and our media to see them only as potential terrorists, as scroungers, as threats to our way of life.

I wanted to show a family behind the statistics, parents and children caught up in a desperate civil war, coping in impossible circumstances in the best way they can. I wove into Welcome to Nowhere the accounts of many different people who told me about their own experiences, and urged me to write their story.'

'Elizabeth Laird has succeeded again in writing an incredibly powerful novel, this time about one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our age' says Belinda Rasmussen, Publisher, Macmillan Children’s Books. 'We are extremely proud to be publishing this book to help foster understanding, empathy and support for those who have lost everything and can’t go home.'
Fifty pence per copy of the hardback edition of Welcome to Nowhere will be donated by Macmillan Children’s Books to an international aid agency supporting the Syrian refugee crisis.

Welcome to Nowhere was bought by Rachel Kellehar from Hilary Delamere at The Agency with World Rights, and will publish in hardback on 12th January 2017.

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