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Gulwali's story is unique because it's being told, because he survived both on his smarts and some luck and help along the way... and yet it's the story of other children fleeing areas of intense poverty and corruption and conflict. This book is written in an accessible style, and yet some of the writing is unpolished and choppy. Some things are repeated frequently, while many "characters" appear and disappear and then get a mention as though the reader remembers who they are.
I like how Gulwali neither glossed over his preferential treatment in spots nor provided extra shock value. He is both grateful to the UK for taking him in and painfully aware of some of the culture that doesn't fit who he is and what he believes. He's neither a tragic victim nor a blameless hero; he speaks about his nightmares and battles with depression openly and honestly.
The fact that this book was written nearly a decade after its events take place provides both a needed remove for the author's introspection and yet a stark reminder that things are not so different today (see "Nujeen" for a more contemporary read about a child refugee).
It's well worth your time, money and credit.
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