JUST LIKE ME de Muzoon Almellehan

JUST LIKE ME follows Muzoon from her heartbreaking escape of war-torn Syria, to crowded refugee camps in Jordan, to becoming an advocate for education and negotiating resettlement for her family in the UK

JUST LIKE ME:
Life Lessons from a Young Refugee
by Muzoon Almellehan
Knopf Books for Young Readers, Spring 2020
Editor: Nancy Siscoe
Proposal available; Manuscript available: Spring 2019

When her family was forced to flee their beloved home of Syria, Muzoon, then 14 years old and a passionate student, was allowed to bring only one bag. She packed her ninth-grade textbooks, leaving everything else she owned behind. Once settled in the refugee camps, she noticed that many young girls didn’t attend school, instead dropping out to become child brides. She went from tent to tent on a one-girl campaign to convince girls and their families of the value she held close as her country was torn apart—that education was the key to a future of possibility and to one day returning to rebuild Syria. Her efforts drew the attention of Nobel Peace Prize winner and fellow activist Malala Yousafzai, now a close personal friend, as well as UNICEF, launching Muzoon on a path to becoming a globally renowned activist for education and refugees.
Told as different lessons she has learned along her journey, such as the power of friendship, handling hard times and connecting with your community, Muzoon’s story is at once a window into a historical, life-altering conflict and the story of any teenage girl learning to navigate her world. Through “If you were me…” prompts at the conclusion of each chapter, Just Like Me offers young readers a way to connect to Muzoon’s story and get inspired to consider how they will navigate their own world.
Like the young reader’s edition of Malala Yousafzai’s I am Malala, Muzoon’s book is an intimate glimpse into the life of a young refugee amidst one of the deadliest conflicts of the 21st century. The lessons Muzoon has learned from a young age will inspire and activate other young people to think globally and engage with today’s most pressing issues.

Known as “the Malala of Syria,” Muzoon Almellehan is an internationally recognized activist for education, refugees and the rights of girls and women. She is currently the youngest UNICEF ambassador at 20 years old as well as the first with official refugee status. Last year, she was named one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year and one of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21, an honor that brought her to a round table discussion with Hillary Clinton.

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