From Bombs to Books
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From Bombs to Books

The remarkable stories of refugee children and their families at two exceptional Canadian schools

By David Starr

$22.95 Paperback
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$16.95 Ebook
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As Canada welcomes tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, as well as many others finding their way in Canada, communities across the country are dealing with the challenges of welcoming and integrating them. This is a book about how schools can play a powerful and positive role in the day-to-day lives of refugee families.

David Starr has served as the principal at two schools in BC where a majority of the student population comes from refugee families. While the students at Edmonds Community and Byrne Creek Community schools in Burnaby, BC, come from all over the world, many are recent arrivals from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.

In this book, David Starr shares the deeply moving stories of his students, their parents and the staff at Edmonds. He describes the upheavals that many of these families have undergone. He writes about how teachers and other support workers have embraced their students and gone about making a difference in their lives. And he tells the stories of students and their views of their experiences in their countries of origin, as well as at their new schools and in their new communities.

First published in 2011, this book will strike a chord today in many cities and towns across Canada. This new edition provides the perspective of five years' experience for the young people it profiles, with updates on the recent experiences of many. And David Starr offers observations on how teachers, principals, support groups and others can contribute to the process of integrating refugee families into Canadian society, and the many lessons he and his colleagues have learned from their experiences.



Where Does Hope Come From?


  1. From Many Places
  2. It Began With a Story
  3. Sisters in Struggle
  4. Freedom Smells Like Sunlight Detergent
  5. They Cannot Hide from the World What They Did
  6. The Legacy of Violence
  7. Three Simple Wishes
  8. She Was So Beautiful My Heart Moved
  9. This Is What War Looks Like to Women
  10. A Guest of the Government of Iraq
  11. I Would Go Back If I Could
  12. White Birds and Machine Guns
  13. In Breath, You Listen
  14. Keeping Hope Alive
  15. These Things Happen in Africa
  16. The Last Song of Akol Chol




DAVID STARR is the principal at Byrne Creek Community School, a high school in Burnaby, BC. He also served for four years as the principal of nearby Edmonds Community School. David is on the board of directors of Canada Scores Vancouver, a charity that provides soccer, poetry and leadership training to urban youth in Burnaby and Surrey, BC. David was recognized by the UBC Faculty of Education as one of their top 100 graduates and was awarded a Community MVP award by the Vancouver Canucks. He is the winner of the 2008 Vancouver Province's "Serial Thriller" competition and is also the co-author of Insider Guide to K-12 Education in BC and the author of the soon-to-be released young adult novels The Nor'Wester and Golden Goal.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 232 pages
Publication Date: 22nd August 2016
ISBN: 9781459411753
Format: 9in x 6in
14 b&w photographs

Binding: Electronic book text, 232 pages
Publication Date: 1st August 2016
ISBN: 9781459411760
Format: EPUB
14 b&w photographs

BISAC Code:  SOC007000, SOC008000, SOC020000
Imprint: Lorimer


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