Welcome to Nowhere

©Scottish Book Trust


Author: Elizabeth Laird

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books


Twelve-year-old Omar and his brothers and sisters were born and raised in the beautiful and bustling city of Bosra, Syria. Omar doesn’t care about politics – all he wants is to grow up to become a successful businessman who will take the world by storm. But when his clever older brother, Musa, gets mixed up with some young political activists, everything changes…

Before long, bombs are falling, people are dying, and Omar and his family have no choice but to flee their home with only what they can carry. Yet no matter how far they run, the shadow of war follows them – until they have no other choice than to attempt the dangerous journey to escape their homeland altogether. But where do you go when you can’t go home?

16 thoughts on “Welcome to Nowhere

  1. Ayan Nandi, Dulwich Prep London. says:

    Welcome To Nowhere is another brilliant touching book by Elizabeth Laird, about Omar, a Syrian refugee who was born in the bustling city of Bosra. His brother Musa who has cerebral palsy is trying to mastermind a rebel war effort while Omar helps his teenage sister avoid marriage. My favourite character is Omar’s brother Fuad, Who is really funny. The end has a great twist, and will leave you wondering what will happen to the family. 9/10.


  2. Jago Solloway DPL says:

    indescribably emotional. I felt that Omar was extremely brave, kind and helpful. It was a terrific storyline and the horrific things were gladly speed out and not all huddled in together. I hope to read another story with Omar in Britain. 7/10


  3. Abdul Bangura Harris Boys' Academy East Dulwhich says:

    This book is about a family in Syria who migrate to different places because of the war.
    I absolutely LOVE this book because each place Omar’s family migrate to, they each have adventure and a problem that happens.
    I would recommend this to those who love adventure, a bit of action and suspense.

    10/10 🙂


  4. Louis Badham says:

    By Louis Badham DPL

    I like this book because it relates to the world today and it changed my mind on how it feels like to be living in a war and to be a refugee. I think that Omar was helpful as he took everything in his own stride. I also thought that Musa was brave as he took part in the rebellions despite having cerebral palsy. The ending gripped me because it makes you wonder what will happen to Omar and his family in Britain.



  5. Louis Hogg, DPL says:

    I really enjoyed this book, I thought that the discription was excellent and you were made to sympathise with the characters in a clever way. This book is also very good at portraying two different angles. This is usefull because one only hears one side of the battle in Syria. I felt that there were too many names to remember meaning I had to look back at who they were. Overall I give this book a 7/10.


  6. Ibraheem Ayub DPL says:

    I really enjoyed this book as it was topical and it gives you a greater perspective on the syrian refugee crisis. It made me realise how lots of innocent people get caught up in wars and how it affects their lives and how they have to suffer the loss of loved ones. I admire the main character, Omar, as he has he has to keep adapting to new environments and eventually has to become the head of the family at a very young age. I also respect the way Omar never gave up even when hope was lost.

    I enjoyed reading this book so much i went on to read ‘Lost Riders’ by the same author which i would also recommend.

    Overall i would give this book a 9/10


  7. Samuel Ray-Billington says:

    Samuel Ray Billington: Dulwich Prep London

    Welcome to Nowhere is an incredibly moving story about a young boy called Omar, who was born in the city of Bosra, Syria before the war. Omar wants to grow up and become a successful businessman but as the world around him changes and politics destroys his city and country, his family – taking only what they can carry – find themselves caught up in the wave of refugees that have been forced to flee the country.

    I was very touched by Omar’s story. Not only is he the same age as me but with all the images and stories we see on the news and read in the papers, Omar feels like a real boy and when you read the book, it is almost as if Omar himself is whispering his adventure in your ear.

    Do not let the tragedy of Omar’s situation put you off this book. Welcome to Nowhere is cleverly written and full of adventure, humour and hope. The determination of Omar’s family to reach safety and build a new life is an inspiration to us all.

    I totally recommend this book and give it a 10 out of 10. The strong characters and plot twists keep the story flowing at a fast speed and like me, once you pick this book up you’ll find you cannot put it down until you reach the end of the story.


  8. Uwais Mussa says:

    Uwais Mussa DPL: I thought welocome to nowhere was one of the best books I have ever read. I felt very sorry for Omar as becoming the head of a family at such a young age is very hard. But overall it is an amzing book. I would give it a 10/10.


  9. Marta amaha says:

    Marta Amaha: Dulwich Hamlet Junior School
    Welcome To Nowhere is an amazing book that I really enjoyed! It tells you about some of the lives of innocent refugees and how they spent their time in refugee camps. Omar was a bold, brave and strong character towards his family since he cared about them and was a loyal son and brother on their tough journey. Near the end of the book I was eager to know would happen to Omar and his family as the went to go to Britain. I was in wonder of what was going to happen next. Overall, this book was exiting,emotional and full of adventures so I will definitely recommend this book to action and adventure lovers.



  10. I thought this book was a great. Mostly because of the way it shows our life today and how people live like Omar did. The 12 year old boy sees things he will never forget, I like it because it has a lot of drama. From the evacuation to the sound of gun shots everyday. I would rate 10/10


  11. Charlie Parker says:

    Welcome to Nowhere is an utterly compelling story about hope when all else is lost. The struggle of Omar’s life as a refugee is thought-provoking. Despite Omar’s family having to endure many hardships and losing their home, Omar clings to the hope that everything will be alright. Wherever Omar goes, wars are being fought. I would give this inspirational story 10/10.


  12. Shaylan Roy DPL says:

    Welcome to Nowhere was an amazing book. The syrian refugee theme was really suitible because the war is still raging on. I though the beginning was quite slow and not that good but once they settled into they settled into the camp it started becoming more interesting. I’m quite keen on a sequel on ho they cope in Britain and if Nadia will get better from the operation. I would rate this book 9/10.


  13. John Abboodass says:

    Welcome to Nowhere is a flowing book by Elizabeth Laird. A story of what really happens behind the war and fighting of the syrians. This books sucks you into a world where shells explodes everyday and you are the only one that can change your families future. This book relates especially to the war that is going on right now and how you would feel if you were Omar. 10/10


  14. Thomas Grundy DPL says:

    This powerful book had outspoken clear characters, and an insight into the lives of refugees and how hard it can be for them. A powerful book that serves as a wake up call to the horrors of the modern world. I couldn’t put it down once I had started reading it. I rate it 10/10


  15. James Barnes says:

    I really liked this book because it was a mix of fiction and a real life crisis. As a result I was gripped early on and both amazed and terrified that this could be happening. Overall, I really enjoyed this book & think it has been written very well.


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