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No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton

Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria.

When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship.

But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves, and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria.

With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.

No Ballet Shoes in Syria is such a heartfelt and thoughtful read which I am really pleased I took the time to read.

The story follows Aya a 11 year old refugee who has ended up in Manchester. Following her story broke my heart as it really shows the reader exactly the sort of things she would ahve gone through to get into the country as well as the issues she was continuing to deal with whilst trying to support her mother and brother in such a new and foreign place.

For me the book was very poignant when it discussed the discrimination Aya and her family faced but also I loved the parallels it drew between modern day refugees and those from the past in particular those fleeing the holocaust.

This really is the sort of book that ought to be taught and discussed in schools.