Swimming Toward a Dream: Yusra Mardini's Incredible Journey from Refugee to Olympic Swimmer (Hardcover)
Growing up in Damascus, the pool was Yusra Mardini’s happy place. She learned to swim before she could walk. And with swimming came a dream—to compete in the Olympic games.
But when war came to Syria, Yusra’s home—and her pool—were no longer safe. Yusra and her sister set out on a harrowing journey, crossing the sea in search of safety.
In the inspirational tale that follows, Yusra’s courageous spirit shines. Crammed on a too-small refugee boat, disaster strikes when the boat’s motor breaks! Scared but determined, Yusra plunges into the water and starts swimming.
Infused with hope, Yusra’s story encourages readers to pursue their own dreams, revealing how she met waves of danger with strength and perseverance. One breath at a time.
Readers will dive into this courageous tale of an athlete, refugee, and hero who inspired the world with her resolve to pursue her Olympic dream.
Reem Faruqi is the award-winning children’s book author of Lailah’s Lunchbox, which is based on her own experiences as a young Muslim girl immigrating to the United States. She also wrote Amira’s Picture Day and I Can Help, and two middle grade novels, Golden Girl and Unsettled. Her award-winning books have received many starred reviews and appeared on various “Best of” lists, including Amira’s Picture Day, which was selected as an ALA Notable Book for 2022. After surviving Atlanta traffic and the school drop off, Reem spends her days trying to write, but instead gets distracted easily by her camera and buttery sunlight. She lives with her husband and three daughters. You can find her at www.ReemFaruqi.com.
Asma Enayeh, like Yusra, grew up in Damascus, Syria, and is honored and thrilled to illustrate a story so close to her heart. A full-time children’s book artist, Asma has illustrated several previous books including Olive and Charlotte, a tale of two princess sisters, and The Unbreakable Thread about the bond between a mother and child. Besides creating art for her next book, Asma enjoys crafting sweet treats in the kitchen and playing her sport of choice: tennis. An enthusiastic traveler, Asma has visited more than 27 countries, and currently lives in Dubai with her husband and two daughters. Find her online at www.asmaoriginal.com.
"[Reem Faruqi] highlights both the dangers [Yusra Mardini] faced and her 'one breath at a time' determination to keep her Olympian dream alive."
"A testament to the power of pursuing one's dreams despite forced displacement."
"Faruqi’s cogent present-tense narrative summarizes Yusra’s refugee-to-Olympian story with short sentences that accentuate the tale’s tension, while the refrain, 'One breath at a time' anchors readers as they follow the teen’s astonishing journey."