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Sea Prayer

Sea Prayer

Book - 2018
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NEW YORK TIMES bestseller

An illustrated book on the refugee crisis that will break your heart in under 48 pages, from the #1 New York Times -bestselling author of The Kite Runner , A Thousand Splendid Suns , and And the Mountains Echoed . A meaningful read to gift this holiday season.

"Intensely moving. . .Powerfully evocative of the plight in which displaced populations find themselves."- Kirkus, STARRED Review

"Hosseini's story, aimed at readers of all ages, does not dwell on nightmarish fates; instead, its emotional power flows from the love of a father for his son." - Publishers Weekly, STARRED BOX Review

A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.

Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi's, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read writers in the world, with more than fifty-five million copies of his novels sold worldwide in more than seventy countries. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2018
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525539094
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Williams, Dan - Illustrator


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Nov 13, 2020

Amazing, heart-gripping short prayer with illustrations.

SAPL_Teens Nov 02, 2020

Khaled Hosseini’s Sea Prayer, is a short poem roughly around 48 pages, illustrating the global refugee crisis. This heart-wrenching poem is inspired by the story of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to escape his war-torn country. Although the poem is brief, Hosseini’s writing techniques and Dan Wiliams’s meaningful illustrations impact the readers. This tear-jerking and sorrowful poem takes the form of a letter. Hosseini depicts a father cradling his sleeping son as they wait for their boat to arrive. The father speaks to his son, recalling his grandfather’s house, the crowded city of Homs, and the days before they had to flee their country. It provides an alternative perspective on the refugee crisis; the poem is told through the eyes of a grieving father, who prays his son lives a happy healthy life. I really enjoyed reading this eye-opening book. Definitely, a must-read! - 4.5/5 stars, SAPL Read It & Review Contributor

Jan 24, 2020

This gifted Author, feeling compelled to write after the viral photograph of the dead migrant toddler on the beach surfaced this past year, weaves a heart-rending tale, giving the child both a voice, and a story that one will not soon forget. I echo the sentiments of my previous DBRL reviewer. You will cry. If you care enough to this topic to read this book, it WILL move you. The watercolors and ink used in the thoughtful renderings, harken me to greeting cards, long ago sent by my grandmother. I am grateful for the co-worker who recommended this book to me. #ThankYouRose

Sep 11, 2019

Short, yet powerful. Humbly reminded of the reality for many refugees. Dan Williams also did an amazing job in his illustrations.

JCLStefanieE Jul 11, 2019

Lovely illustrations combined with heartbreaking clarity tell such an important story with so few words. I would highly recommend pairing this with Exit West for a book group study.

caleherreman Jul 10, 2019

Heartbreaking. This can be read in as little as five minutes, but it will haunt your conscience for years to come. Parents often contemplate what they would do for their children, their family, but here a father is troubled by what he has promised. A hopeful promise that he is powerless to keep, but puts his trust in a higher power.

Apr 02, 2019

This beautiful book will make you weep, words and images both. Beautiful. Breathtaking. Loving. Tragic. Hopeful. Profound. Should be required reading.

IndyPL_TomP Apr 02, 2019

“Released amid the onslaught of heart-wrenching news about emigration, Sea Prayer may be the Sophie’s Choice for our century.” From

Mar 11, 2019

Simple and moving. As a poem with illustrations it is quite different from the other works by Hosseini (3 novels).

I've found it very touching and want to read it with my kids. About two years ago, we decided to go beyond our usual destinations and to show more of their father's country to our kids. So we travelled to Gaziantep, a Turkish city located 40 miles from the border with Syria. There we saw numerous refugees. Because we watch the news and because their Swiss school had welcomed a couple of refugees, they knew a little bit of what's going on. Nevertheless, being there made it more concrete (they both felt very emotional). I believe that Sea Prayer can achieve something similar. Young and less young readers will connect with Marwan and his father.

Now Hosseini should write a parallel story/poem about the wall being built between the US and Mexico...

Mar 10, 2019

touching poem with evocative illustrations
for older children and adults alike

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