Coming of Age as Refugees
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The coming-of-age story is ageless, but it has a special resonance for YA (young adult) readers. In what can be a lonely time, it invites them to connect with a character whose internal struggles are reassuringly familiar.
It might be that the difference between a good YA coming-of-age novel and a great one is scope. A great story takes young readers beyond introspection and pushes them out into a wider world. It offers contrasts that can be more compelling than similarities.
Here’s a short list of YA novels where the protagonists come of age as refugees. For these characters, leaving childhood behind also means leaving home, country and identity. Their internal struggles are swept up in global ones.
In a world experiencing unprecedented refugee crises, these books offer young adults a perspective not only on their own journeys, but on the otherwise unimaginable journeys that other young people are taking every day.