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Cannonball Read V: In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda

By JamiePomerhn | Books | November 8, 2013 |

By JamiePomerhn | Books | November 8, 2013 |

Fabio Geda’s In the Sea There Are Crocodiles is a novel (The author considers it fiction since not all of the facts can be checked) based on the incredible true story of Enaiatollah Akbari, who traveled from Afghanistan to Italy all by himself when he was just a young boy. It is absolutely amazing.

The story opens in Afghanistan, where ten-year-old Enaiatollah’s widowed mother has decided to send him away in order to avoid a life of slavery for him. She travels to Pakistan with her son, often hiding him under her burka in order to keep him safe. She tells her little boy that he must remember three things in life: Never use drugs, never use weapons, and never cheat or steal. The next day, she is gone. Enaiatollah realizes that his mom left because she was trying to save his life, and so he decides to make the most of his time in Pakistan. He finds a place to stay and work, and when he has gotten enough money, he decides to journey to Iran to find better work.

Iran is a miserable place for the boy, and he is constantly being repatriated to Afghanistan. When he makes it back to Iran for the second or third time, he realizes that there is no life for him there. He begins the dangerous and long journey to Turkey, but he doesn’t stay in Turkey for too long. He then travels to Greece by inflatable boat in the middle of the night, and shortly after that, he makes his way to Italy, his current home.

The book is the story of hope and survival. Even though Enaiatollah is denied the carefree life of a child, his desire to survive is strong, and he does whatever he needs to do in order to live. All he wants is to work and go to school, which was a sobering reminder for me about how lucky and privileged I am to have grown up in the States. In fact, I’d like to buy this book for every child in America to read, just so they can realize how truly lucky we are. I was deeply affected by this book, and I give it five stars. It’s a must-read for everyone.

This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read V. Read all about it , and find more of Jamie Pomerhn’s reviews on the group blog.

(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the affiliate links
in this this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)