Samia has always dreamed of running in the Olympics. The first time she ran, even though she came in last, she did her best. When she came home, she trained even harder so she could run in the next Olympics. It was really hard for Samia to even get to train for the Olympics because in her country, which was Somalia, the militia or the police force made sure that everyone did exactly as they were told or else they got hurt. They didn’t want her to train, because that meant that she got to go out of the country. She can’t train properly in Somalia, so she tries to escape with others who are escaping. She succeeds in getting to the seashore, but then they run out of oil before they can get entirely across, and when another ship comes by, Samia drowns while trying to get aboard. Everyone honors her for trying to escape to live a better life and follow her dream.
“Then there was the revolution and civil war broke out. Since then, we haven’t had a government. It’s every man for himself.”
An Olympic Dream: The Story of Samia Yusuf Omar by Reinhard Kleist was a really sad book. It was written and illustrated in the style of a graphic novel, but it is a true story. The story was very interesting and compelling, because it helps you appreciate not only what some people have to go through to train for the Olympics, but how hard it is for some people living with a lot of war or where they are not free, but it was scary and sad to read about. Samia’s was willing to work so hard for her dream, but it was so sad that she wasn’t able to achieve it because of where she was from, and people kept making her pay more money to try to escape, and she had to stay in horrible conditions and didn’t have any control over her life at the end. This is an important book to read to learn about how other people have to go through some very terrible things, but it is really sad and hard to read.