Escape From Aleppo

Middle-Grade Cultural Fiction

by N. H. Senzai
January 2018 – Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster (US)

A powerful, heartbreaking, and suspenseful survival story about the disastrous war in Syria from the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Shooting Kabul.

Silver and gold balloons. A birthday cake covered in pink roses. A new dress. 

Nadia stands at the center of attention in her parents’ elegant dining room. This is the best day of my life, she thinks. Everyone is about to sing “Happy Birthday,” when her uncle calls from the living room, “Baba, brothers, you need to see this.” Reluctantly, she follows her family into the other room. On TV, a reporter stands near an overturned vegetable cart on a dusty street. Beside it is a mound of smoldering ashes. The reporter explains that a vegetable vendor in the city of Tunis burned himself alive, protesting corrupt government officials who have been harassing his business. Nadia frowns.

It is December 17, 2010: Nadia’s twelfth birthday and the beginning of the Arab Spring. Soon anti-government protests erupt across the Middle East and, one by one, countries are thrown into turmoil. As civil war flares in Syria and bombs fall across Nadia’s home city of Aleppo, her family decides to flee to safety.

Told in alternate timelines before and after the war, author N.H. Senzai follows Nadia as she navigates the ruined streets of Aleppo, where danger lurks around every corner, and there’s almost no one she can trust. Nadia’s often death-defying and terrifying journey will leave readers at the edge of their seat and rooting for her to make it to the Turkish border and reunite with her family.

As with her previous books, N.H. Senzai has delivered a deeply researched and emotionally wrenching story about the effects of war on children, sure to captivate readers everywhere.

N.H. Senzai is the author of Shooting Kabul, which was critically acclaimed and on numerous award lists. Publishers Weekly called it “hard hitting, emotionally wrenching.” Her second book, Saving Kabul Corner, was nominated for an Edgar Award. She is also the author of Ticket to India and Escape from Aleppo. Ms. Senzai lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. Visit her online at

press and publicity:


« Filled with kindness and hope, but also with the harsh realities of the horrors of war, this heartbreaking book is a necessary reminder of what many people live through every day. »—Booklist, STARRED

« Senzai (Ticket to India) crafts a harrowing novel about a 14-year-old girl’s flight from war-torn Syria in 2013 that captures the reality of the conflict while illuminating the culture and history of the country. […T]he novel’s taut pacing and memorable heroine result in a gripping and intense story of the traumas inflicted on Syria’s citizens. »—Publishers Weekly

« [..A] valuable introduction to the issues plaguing modern Syria and the costs of war in historically rich locales. »—Kirkus Reviews