Skip to main content

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees


The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

THE UNWANTED: Stories of the Syrian Refugees is a nonfiction graphic novel discussing the current refugee crisis going on in Syria. The book starts in 2011 and slowly shows us how Syria came to be to what it is today. It mainly focuses on what happens to the Syrian refugees after leaving their country, and the constant struggles they have to face due to their heritage. Don Brown is also known for his other graphic novels THE GREAT AMERICAN DUST BOWL and DROWNED CITY.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel! However, there was one thing that I feel I need to point out about this book. It is advertised to be stories of refugees’ experiences, when in fact it was more of a nonfiction graphic novel; it talked about more statistics and set out a timeline of the crisis rather than just telling stories. I was actually really happy that it went into this different route since I feel like I’ve learned a lot more on the entire topic if it didn’t. The author also adds some more information at the back of the book in his author’s note, explaining some of the other experiences refugees had.

"THE UNWANTED is a necessary and essential graphic novel for those who are still learning about the refugee crisis."

Nonfiction graphic novels are always interesting to read since they’re able to represent different ideas that regular nonfiction novels can’t. Don Brown’s THE UNWANTED makes it extremely easy for readers to understand the refugee crisis through its heartbreaking portrayal of the past. The ability to help people get a better grasp of what’s happening in our world is this book’s biggest strong suite. Though it doesn’t tackle everything about the crisis, it is an amazing introduction.

The art style is extremely simplistic. While this would usually bother me, I think that the artwork in this book went extremely well with the themes it was attempting to portray. The art in THE UNWANTED gives off the feeling of catastrophe that is needed for a book such as this. This isn’t exactly the type of art style in the graphic novels that I enjoy the most, however, I still believe that most people will enjoy the art in this book a lot more than I did.

The biggest flaw in this graphic novel is its length. Despite being able to pack a punch in such a short time, I felt like 100 pages weren’t enough to show all the information Don Brown was trying to explain to its readers. Despite this, THE UNWANTED would still be something I would recommend; it is filled with extremely important information about this tragedy that’s helpful. Especially when there’s so much misinformation and confusion right now on the current topic.

Overall, THE UNWANTED is a necessary and essential graphic novel for those who are still learning about the refugee crisis. Though it is a bit on the shorter side, it still is able to explain the situation in Syria with extreme ease. THE UNWANTED: Stories of the Syrian Refugees, is an easy to read graphic novel that still holds valuable information in it.

Reviewed by Marco M., Teen Board Member on September 20, 2018

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees
by Don Brown