The true story of Yusra Mardini, as portrayed in the Netflix movie “The Swimmers”.
Yusra Mardini loves to swim. As a girl in Damascus, she dreams about swimming for her country in the Olympics. But then war intervenes. Julie Abery’s spare, rhyming verse relates the story of Yusra’s journey from her beloved home in Syria to a sinking boat on the Aegean to Germany, where Yusra finally swims again and realizes her dream.---from the publisher
32 pages 978-1568463292 Ages 7-10
Keywords: memoir, hero, swimming, courage, refugee, Olympics, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old
"Spare, rhythmic verse gives the narrative a gripping and dramatic feel, while Deng’s illustrations convey the struggles of war and displacement." — Kirkus Reviews
"A talented swimmer with Olympic dreams, Yusra Mardini trains daily, despite unrest in her native Syria. When the conflict intensifies, her father arranges for her to evacuate to Europe. She flees by bus, and then by sea, where her swimming skills are put to good use towing a sinking rowboat to shore. When she finally arrives in Berlin, she begins training again and eventually participates in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Abery's spare, rhyming text recounts Mardini's real-life story, touching on the traumas ('Treading water, / Gripping rope. / Yusra swims, / Keeping hope.') and triumphs ('Refugee / Olympic team. / Yusra swims. / Achieves her dream.') of her young life. Deng's digitally enhanced acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations favor blues, greens, and browns and depict both the serenity of the pool and the severe realities of civil war and refugee life. An excellent addition to the growing number of picture books about refugees, this is appended with a note about Mardini, who currently serves as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador." — Booklist