Astrid Lindgren Nomination

Jane Mitchell

Award-winning writer of books for young people

A Dangerous Crossing


What's the story?

Ghalib Shenu is a 13-year old boy of Kurdish origin who lives in Syria. He doesn’t want to leave his home, but Kobani has become too dangerous. His family has no choice but to leave everything behind and try for a new life elsewhere.

Together, they start out on a terrible journey that leads them through dark and dangerous places. Ghalib comes under fire, is caught in a tear-gas attack, experiences the wretched and hopeless life of a refugee camp, and he still has to face the perils of a voyage in a boat that is far from seaworthy.

Based on the experiences of real Syrian families, this is the story of bravery and solidarity in the face of despair.

More info

Endorsed by Amnesty International (Ireland) as contributing to a better understanding of human rights and the values that underpin them.

'Not only is [Jane Mitchell's] story told with compassion and understanding, it is also a timely and vital read. Deserving of a place on every school reading list.'
May 2017)
'I now understand the Syrian refugee crisis like never before. I walked in young Ghalib’s fresh white runners from the refugee camp, I was thrown back by the bomb blast that hit his town, I wept his tears, felt his frustration and anger. There’s nothing like a great novel to make the world come alive. An important book, a necessary book, but above all, a brilliantly told story.'
(Sarah Webb, writer and reviewer, February 2017)

In spring 2018, A Dangerous Crossing was published in North America with the title Without Refuge, and in Brazil with the title Uma Travessia Perigosa, translated by José Geraldo Couto.

Publication Details

February 2017, Little Island Books, Dublin, Ireland.

ISBN: 978 1 9104 1158 2


National Awards

Regional Awards

Teaching Resources

Download my Teaching guide for A Dangerous Crossing

Buy the Book

Buy A Dangerous Crossing directly from Little Island Books.

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