The Eleventh Trade Alyssa Hollingsworth
Fiction Book Reviews

Children’s Fiction | The Eleventh Trade | Alyssa Hollingsworth

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We’re delighted to be sharing Alice-Jane’s thoughts on debut The Eleventh Trade by Alyssa Hollingsworth with you today.  Although this story is recommended for ages 9 – 12, it was a big hit for Alice-Jane and comes highly recommended for adults too.

The Eleventh Trade Alyssa Hollingsworth

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Age Range: 9 – 12 years
  • Publisher: Piccadilly Press (18 Sept. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848126891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848126893

Back in Afghanistan, before the Taliban came, Sami’s grandfather was a famous musician. People would come from miles around and pay thousands to hear him play the rebab.

Now Sami and his grandfather are refugees living in Boston. The rebab is their most valuable possession and a reminder of home.

Then one terrible day, the rebab is stolen. Sami’s grandfather is devastated. His last link with home is gone and with it, his livelihood. Sami resolves to get the rebab back as a surprise for Eid. When he finds it on ebay, with a hefty price tag attached, he begins to trade the few possessions he has – and as he does, he finds, to his surprise, that there are all kinds of people willing to help.

For fans of WONDER and REFUGEE BOY.


Available to purchase in digital, hardcover and paperback.

Alyssa says; ‘Sami’s tale was inspired by the Afghans I met in Afghanistan, my older sister’s nine years of NGO work in-country, and by the attack at the American charity Roots of Peace in March 2014. Unlike Sami’s parents, my sister made it out alive. But I can never forget what it felt like to see a picture of the bombed-out house, printed in Time magazine. The Eleventh Trade is an attempt to give voice to the victims of war who continue to struggle with hope and healing even after they are ‘safe’.’”


I could not put this book down! Such a compelling read!

The ‘Eleventh Trade,’ is an inspiring read taking the reader on a journey into the lives of refugees facing persecution amongst the young members of the community.

The emotional struggles of Sami, whose quest to retrieve his grandfather’s precious rebab, is such a moving and heart wrenching journey.  The level of community spirit, contributed towards Sami’s efforts completes the story by allowing the reader to feel the sense of unity following the breakages caused by war.

I found this book to be extremely thought provoking, against prejudice and persecution, making me shed a tear or two!

Such a fantastic read!

I thoroughly recommend this story!

Alice-Jane guest reviewer on Jera's Jamboree


Alyssa HollingsworthAlyssa Hollingsworth is American and this is her debut novel. Her sister worked for an NGO in Afghanistan and Alyssa travelled to Afghanistan to spend time with her sister and the Afghan people she works with. Alyssa wrote an award-winning essay about that experience and continues to work with refugees in the USA, helping them to adjust to their new lives.



Connect with Alyssa Hollingsworth


Twitter @alyssa_holly



Read all posts in children’s fiction on Jera’s Jamboree.

Family comes first! I'm married with two son's in their 20's and have a little more time now to follow my passions. I love my role as an Inclusion Lead in KS2 and I'm passionate about early help. I'm a member of Bournemouth's Early Help Operational Board working alongside others to instigate change and growth. I'm also passionate about my love of reading, being out in nature and creating with crochet. I've been blogging for eight years at Jera's Jamboree.


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