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The Eleventh Trade

Written by Alyssa Hollingsworth

Key Stage 3 Family / Home Stories Gritty Reads

LoveReading View on The Eleventh Trade

Winner of the UKLA Book Awards 2020

Sami gets by in Boston on the money his grandfather makes on the street playing his rehab. When the instrument is stolen, Sami needs to find $700 to get it back. All he has is a man United key ring. It’s only going to be possible if Sami is prepared to accept help. This is a great book for readers not quite ready for YA fiction. It is raw, relevant but full of hope.


The Eleventh Trade Synopsis

For fans of Wonder and Refugee Boy - meet Sami, a twelve-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, as he searches for friendship, a place to call home and his grandfather's most prized possession. Back in Afghanistan, before the Taliban came, Sami's grandfather was a famous musician. People would come from miles around and pay thousands to hear him play the rebab. Now Sami and his grandfather are refugees living in Boston. The rebab is their most valuable possession and a reminder of home.

Then one terrible day, the rebab is stolen. Sami's grandfather is devastated. His last link with home is gone and with it, his livelihood. Sami resolves to get the rebab back as a surprise for Eid. When he finds it on ebay, with a hefty price tag attached, he begins to trade the few possessions he has - and as he does, he finds, to his surprise, that there are all kinds of people willing to help.

The Eleventh Trade Press Reviews

Both a quest story and a friendship story, this book brings to life the traumatic reality refugee children experience in a world filled with borders and walls. - Kirkus Review

A heartwarming story of life as a refugee, about friendship, overcoming tragedy, and an exciting quest. A classic book relevant to the events in the world today.- Jess Butterworth, author of Running on the Roof of the World

When we write stories about cultures other than our own, we listen to people with the life experience. Alyssa Hollingsworth has done more than that - she has lived alongside and befriended people who have shared their stories. I wasn't just introduced to Sami. I was introduced to a whole culture...Readers will cheer Sami on in his quest and cry with him when he shares his worst experiences. A true read for empathy and a great story of our times - Book Murmuration

This book is thoughtful and poignant, important without ever losing sight of hope ... It's so packed with themes and questions that would also make it a fantastic class book for schools ... It's an incredible debut, and I hope, a future children's classic - Phonetic Mangoes

I love this book. It is simply written but the genius of it comes in the topic and how it draws children (especially boys) into the story through commonality with the protagonist, and then transports them into a different world ... It's a fantastic choice for helping children who are stuck in rut to read more widely ... A story of survival, love and understanding. By the time I got to the middle, I couldn't put it down - Just Imagine

Vibrant characters and a lively narrative draw the reader straight into this story - Inis Reading Guide

A powerful, compassionate story ... if you're looking for a story filled with kindness and compassion to share with Palacio's Wonder, or Zephaniah's Refugee Boy, this is the book for you. - Happiful magazine

Crosses different cultures and shows that people are people, whatever their culture. We particularly like the glossary of Pashto and Afghan phrases! - Creative Steps

Book Information

ISBN: 9781848126893
Publication date: 18th September 2018
Author: Alyssa Hollingsworth
Publisher: Piccadilly Press an imprint of Templar Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 3
Topics: Family / Home Stories, Gritty Reads

About Alyssa Hollingsworth

Alyssa Hollingsworth is American and The Invisible Boy is her second novel. Her first novel, The Eleventh Trade was inspired by a trip she took to Afghanistan with an NGO to spend time with her sister and the Afghan people she works with. Alyssa wrote an award-winning essay about that experience and continues to work with refugees in the USA, helping them to adjust to their new lives. Alyssa is currently living in Bath where is she is taking a PhD in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.  Of The Eleventh Trade, Alyssa says, "Sami's tale was inspired by ...

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