A Long Way From Home

A Long Way From Home


By Alice Walsh


An Afghan girl, an American boy, and the resilient residents of a small town are thrown together on 9/11.

Thirteen-year-old Rabia, her mother, and her younger brother have escaped Afghanistan and the brutal rule of the Taliban. On their way to the United States to start a new life, their plane is scheduled to land in New York City on the morning of September 11th, 2001. On the same flight is Colin, returning home after a holiday. While Rabia is full of fear and uncertainty about life in America, Colin is also concerned about the future, as he wonders whether his parents are heading towards a divorce.

Neither of them could have predicted what was to come – the terrorist attack on the United States that diverted all incoming planes, forcing their flight to land in the small community of Gander, Newfoundland. While the world struggles to assess what has happened, the residents of Gander provide shelter to the stranded passengers. As Colin and Rabia struggle to cope, they are each taken under the wing of a Gander family. In the middle of tragedy they will both find unexpected kindness, surprising adventure, and the hope that the future can still be bright after all. 

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About the Author

Alice Walsh grew up in northern Newfoundland and now lives in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. She writes fiction and nonfiction for adults and children, and her articles and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. Her published work includes seven books for children and a nonfiction book for adults. She has worked as a probation officer and nursery school teacher, and has taught creative writing for adults.

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Product Information

  • Release: September 10, 2012

  • $11.95 Paperback

  • 176 Pages

  • 5.25 x 7.5

  • Children's Fiction

  • Ages 9-13 / Grades 5-8

  • Lexile: HL600L Guided Reading: W

  • ISBN: 9781926920795



  • Character Education
    > Empathy
    > Friendship & Family
    > Prejudice & Tolerance

  • History & Social Studies
    > Canadian History
    > War & Conflict

  • Reflecting Diversity
    > Cultural & Ethnic Diversity

Awards for A Long Way from Home

  • 2013/14 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award Finalist

Praise for A Long Way from Home

"Part refugee story, part 9/11 remembrance, this is a welcome addition to a small shelf." - Kirkus Reviews

"A Long Way From Home is a good story and a fine addition to the growing collection of September 11 novels." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Walsh has created real characters, places and situations that are all reachable and believable by the reader. Her tone and development of plot illustrate care and kindness and will attract empathetic readers. I would highly recommend this book to young readers, and to many classroom teachers for it's many cross-curricular links and for it's historical subject matter." - Resource Links

"… Walsh reminds us through her characters that with empathy and a willingness to listen, understanding and friendship can blossom, despite differences of culture and background." - The Chronicle Herald

"I found A Long Way From Home, by Canadian Alice Walsh, to be a very powerful and well-written novel." - Nureesa La Rose (age 12), National Post Kids' Reviews

"Alice Walsh’s A Long Way from Home is a compassionately told novel that straddles the line between children’s and young adult fiction, and the story it tells will appeal to younger and older audiences alike." - NewPages

"I liked this story because it was fictional but at the same time it was based on true events. I had no idea how hard it is to live in Afghanistan with the Taliban rule, especially for women and girls. I knew the Taliban had cruel ways but did not know they would wipe out whole families if they felt like it. The characters were all interesting and imaginable. This book would work for both boys and girls.... Any teen that likes fictional novel but also has an interest for world issues would enjoy this book!" - Kids' Picks Book Reviews By Young Readers, Canadian Teacher Magazine