'Refugee' by Alan Gratz selected for 1book 1community

Loudoun County Public Library is thrilled to announce the selection of Refugee, by Alan Gratz, for the 2021 1book 1community program. This award-winning, emotional story revolves around three main characters from three different eras: Nazi Germany, 1990s Cuba and modern-day Syria.

Free copies of the book will be available in branches beginning Monday, Sept. 13, or you can read the eBook on OverDrive or the Libby app through Sunday, Oct. 31.


About refugee

Three different kids. One mission in common: ESCAPE.

Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world…

Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety and freedom in America…

Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe…

All three young people will go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers — from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But for each of them, there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, surprising connections will tie their stories together in the end.

ABOUT Alan Gratz

Alan Gratz is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 17 novels for young readers, including Ground Zero, Refugee, Allies, Grenade, Prisoner B-3087, Projekt 1065 and Ban This Book. A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Alan is now a full-time writer living in Asheville, N.C., with his wife and daughter. Learn more about him online at alangratz.com.


Refugee is aimed at ages 11 and older, according to Common Sense Media.

Caregivers and teachers can find supplemental discussion and writing prompts on the Scholastic website.

About 1book 1community

1book 1community is Loudoun County Public Library’s annual countywide reading program that promotes community dialogue and understanding through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book.

The program is made possible by the Irwin Uran Gift Fund. The Irwin Uran Gift Fund was established in 1999 through a $1 million gift from the philanthropist Irwin Uran. Mr. Uran’s gift to the Loudoun County Public Library supports the purchase of materials and programs that “create better understanding between all people.” Irwin Uran died in 2007 leaving a legacy of humanitarian contributions that has affected the lives of thousands of people.


2020: Front Desk by Kelly Yang
2019: Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
2018: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
2017: Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
2016: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
2015: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
2014: Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
2013: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
2012: When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka
2011: Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
2010: Bicycles: Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni
2009: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis
2008: Nothing But the Truth by Avi
2007: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
2006: The Giver by Lois Lowry
2005: Witness by Karen Hesse
2004: The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal