How old is Mahmoud in “Refugee” by Alan Gratz?

Updated 21 March, 2023
Mahmoud, one of the main characters in "Refugee" by Alan Gratz, is a young boy who is forced to flee from his home country due to war and persecution. While the novel does not explicitly state Mahmoud's age, it is suggested that he is around 12 years old. Mahmoud is the son of a Syrian couple, and he has a younger sister named Wafaa. Despite his young age, Mahmoud displays great bravery and resilience as he embarks on a perilous journey to find safety and a better life for himself and his family.
Detailed answer:

Mahmoud is one of the three main characters in Alan Gratz's novel "Refugee," which tells the story of three refugee families fleeing their homes for safety. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy who lives in Aleppo and is forced to leave his home and country with his family due to the war. Mahmoud's age is not explicitly mentioned in the book, but it is implied that he is around 12 years old. This is shown when Mahmoud is described as being in the sixth grade and when he speaks about his favorite subject, science, in a conversation with his father. Additionally, Mahmoud's father encourages him to take care of his younger brother, Waleed, who is six years old, which suggests that Mahmoud is significantly older.

Throughout the novel, Mahmoud demonstrates bravery and resourcefulness beyond his years. He takes on a leadership role in his family, helping his mother and father make difficult decisions, and he is able to navigate dangerous situations with quick thinking and courage. For example, when Mahmoud and his family board a smuggler's boat, he has to make a life or death decision that could save his family's lives. He says, "We don't have time to think. We don't have time to talk. We have to go," showing his quick thinking and leadership skills.

Overall, Mahmoud's age in "Refugee" is not explicitly stated, but the reader can infer that he is around 12 years old based on his grade level and references to his maturity level. Despite his young age, Mahmoud demonstrates incredible bravery and resourcefulness in the face of danger and uncertainty, making him a powerful and inspiring character in the novel.

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