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Vol. 2 - Voice for Refuge - Green Card Voices

Coming APRIL 2023

Illustrated in stark black and white, this harrowing bilingual graphic novel chronicles Zaynab’s journeys from Somalia to Yemen, and Egypt and ultimately to the United States.

“…harrowing journey was filled with sorrow and trauma yet, when she finally settled in Minnesota, she found purpose and opportunity through hard work and activism, speaking at the United Nations about girls’ education in Yemen.”

— Kirkus starred review


Book Contents

  • 64 pages in full color
  • Discussion questions
  • Important concepts about Zaynab’s story
  • Words to know from the story
  • Written in English and Arabic
  • Reading comprehension for ages 8+

About the Contributors of Voice for Refuge

Zaynab Abdi

Storyteller of Voice for Refuge

From: Yemen
Current: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Zaynab Abdi is a Black, Muslim, Middle Eastern, and Immigrant woman who is passionate about social justice and advocacy. She graduated magna cum laude from St. Catherine University with triple majors in political science, international studies, and philosophy. She started attending Columbia University in the Fall of 2021. Zaynab works alongside the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, as a youth advocate for girls’ education. She has spoken at the United Nations several times, and her story was featured in Malala’s book We Are Displaced. Zaynab was appointed by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s office to serve in the 2019 Young Women’s Cabinet. In her free time, Zaynab enjoys playing soccer, biking, and mentoring young leaders to be civically engaged.

Achraf El-Attar

Cover artist and illustrator of Voice for Refuge

Born: Egypt
Current: Washington, D.C.

Achraf El-Attar is an illustrator from Egypt. He currently resides in Washington, DC. He earned his MFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design with a full scholarship from the Ford Foundation. His children’s books and graphic novels have been published in the United States and around the world. His work has also appeared in several magazines such as Baystate Parent and Washingtonian. His preferred medium is traditional ink and paper.

About the Children’s Bilingual Graphic Novel Series, Our Stories Carried Us Here

Following the breakout success of the graphic novel anthology, Our Stories Carried Us Here, Green Card Voices presents the children’s graphic novel series of the same name. In this series, we explore the same challenging questions of identity, race, and discrimination, but written for an audience in grades 3-5. As our student population becomes increasingly BIPOC (52% of US school population in 2020), teachers and parents are searching for books that are reflective of who their students and children are, and which help them feel more at home in America. Through authentic narratives from immigrant storytellers and engaging full color visuals, developing and fluent readers access and explore a variety of distinctly American experiences. Each book features a single story presented in both English and the native language of the storyteller. Moreover, supporting pages provide background building content, thought provoking discussion questions, and a well curated list of additional resources for extension opportunities. 


Reading Level: 600L-1200L

Audience: All children, 3th -5th grade, 8-12 years old


  • Share cultures, stories of children immigrants, first and possibly second generation
  • Show how diverse each immigrant journey is
  • Focus on a diverse group of children immigrants coming from several different regions 
    • Vol 1.: Mexico (JUNE 2022)
    • Vol 2.: Yemen (April 2023)
    • Vol 3.: Cambodia (Sept 2023)
    • Vol 4: Hmong 
  • Provide detailed and authentic resources for other children immigrant to reference about their culture
  • Focus on the change/transition from the immigrant’s previous life in their birth country to America
  • Show the integration of their culture and America’s culture and how they could still be themselves and follow their culture while living in America

Book Details:

  • Estimated total count of pages: 32 pages in English, translated; TOTAL: 64 pages
  • Type of book: Children’s hardcover book
  • Bilingual flip book: one language on one side (front), another on the other side (back)
  • Dimensions of book: 5.5 x 8.5 inches

Book Design:

  • Use illustration by immigrant illustrator (preferably from the same region)
  • Book cover will be a illustrated with a color portrait (all volumes will follow the same structure)
  • Color palette: each volume has its own color palette