Amala's Hope
Amala's Hope

Amala's Hope

A Family from Syria: A Story Based on Real History


Hopes and Dreams


80 Pages, 5.375 x 8.375

Formats: Paperback, ebook: EPUB

Paperback, $13.50 (US $13.50) (CA $17.95)

Publication Date: March 2018

ISBN 9780866474719


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This 80-page easy-to-understand reader is one of 12 historical novels in the Hopes and Dreams series, whose diverse and fascinating characters, regardless of their ethnicity, face prejudice, danger, hardships, and setbacks, but survive with perseverance, a little bit of luck ,and a generous amount of love in their new home in the US. Downloadable audio recordings of all 12 novels and free supplementary materials for teachers are available (visit for more details).

Plot Summary for Amala's Hope: In 2011, the Najjar family decides to flee from their home in Aleppo, Syria, as the civil war comes closer and closer. The grandparents stay behind to take care of the family business. The Najjars drive to Jordan to stay with an uncle, but his house is very crowded and uncomfortable. As the war goes on, they go to a refugee camp, where they wait five years to be cleared for resettlement in America. Finally they arrive in Texas, where a church sponsors them. Only the daughter, Amala, speaks some English, but with the help of a neighbor, Marisol, they begin their new life. First, the children need to begin schooling, but with inadequate English they are placed below their normal grade level. Amala is relieved to discover three other Muslim girls wearing head scarves at the high school. Although the community is very supportive, they are harassed by anti-Muslim people, and the local mosque is burned. Meanwhile, back in Syria, the grandparents escape to a refugee camp in Turkey, where the grandmother dies. The grandfather is resettled in Germany as America closes its doors to Muslim immigrants and refugees. Despite their difficulties, the family gives thanks for what they have at their neighbor Marisol’s Thanksgiving dinner.


"The Hopes and Dreams series is highly recommended... as an excellent example of controlled vocabulary with a low-Lexile level and a glossary, relevant content about immigration, and engaging storytelling by the author, Tana Reiff." - Helaine W. Marshall, PhD, Professor of Education and Director of Language Education Programs, Long Island University - Hudson Campus

Author Biography

Tana Reiff, author of the Hopes and Dreams series holds a B.S. degree in elementary education and a master’s in secondary English with a concentration in applied linguistics. She has taught adult basic education, ESL, and college-level linguistics, and worked in multimedia communications for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She is the author of dozens of hi-lo books (high interest, low reading level) for all ages.