Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sea Prayer” as Want to Read:
Sea Prayer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sea Prayer

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  7,765 Ratings  ·  1,208 Reviews
The #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed responds to the heartbreak of the current refugee crisis with this deeply moving, beautifully illustrated short work of fiction for people of all ages, all over the world.

A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in resp
Kindle Edition, 48 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Riverhead Books (first published August 30th 2018)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sea Prayer, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
MELISSIA LENOX The book is actually a fictional letter from a father to his son, written on the eve of their fictional journey from their war-torn home to anywhere.…moreThe book is actually a fictional letter from a father to his son, written on the eve of their fictional journey from their war-torn home to anywhere. All author proceeds from this book will be donated to the UNHCR and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe. Consider the price you pay as a donation. (less)
Lindsey Expensive, yes. Greed, no. Author proceeds are going to UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and his own charitable foundation, The Khaled Hosseini…moreExpensive, yes. Greed, no. Author proceeds are going to UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and his own charitable foundation, The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help refugees around the globe.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Larry H
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Khaled Hosseini's Sea Prayer isn't a book—it's a poem. But it's more than a poem—it is, in essence, a letter written from father to son, a prayer lifted up on the eve of a journey away from their war-torn country, a journey which could prove tremendously dangerous.

In less than 50 pages, Hosseini's words and the beautiful illustrations break your heart. This was inspired by the story of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy believed to have drowned during his family's attempts to flee their c
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wave after wave......

From calm seas of memories to the over-powering turbulence of the present, Khaled Hosseini presents a story drifting from father to son in the form of a tragic letter. From the shores of chaos come words that touch the lips and soften the heart in slow steady beats.

What was is no longer and what will be is only for fate to decide.

Hosseini's father figure grasps the small hand of his son and tries to paint within him a canvas of what life was like in his grandfather's house
Kelly Hager
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm really not sure how to describe this book. It's a letter from a father to his son, the night before they leave their war-torn country for a safer place. It's not great and the father is terrified because it involves a great deal of danger (especially for the portion of the trip that's by boat). You can feel his fear and at the same time his knowledge that there's no real good choice. Leaving is dangerous and there's a very real chance that one or all of them will die. But staying isn't a goo ...more
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very short book—a picture book, really—but because of the subject matter, it feels almost heavy in my hands right now. My eyes also understand that this is no bedtime story.

It isn’t the most original piece ever written, but do we really need ‘‘originality’’ when we’re talking about war, chaos and death, or do we need affective? Emotional. Realistic. Vivid. A piece that we understand and that gently awakens our ability to show compassion.

I am slightly ashamed to say that the only other
Diane S ☔
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
I read this short offering by Hosseini, an author I very much admire, in a matter of minutes. In the title is the word prayer, and it is a prayer to a child, a people, young people who will never know the country of their birth, Syria, without bombs, towns in ruins and starvation. Not the vibrant place it had been. A prayer to all people for compassion, understanding, for a little hope for the refugees fleeing for their life. The illustrations are beautifully wrought, from color to black and whi ...more
Feb 21, 2018 marked it as to-read
”This book is dedicated
to the thousands of refugees
who have perished at sea
fleeing war and persecution.”

Khaled Hosseini, author of ’The Kite Runner,’ A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed has combined his writing skills with the artistic skills of Dan Williams, illustrator, for this epistolary poem, from father to son upon the journey which they are about to embark.

As this is a letter from a father to son to young to have his own memories, the content is meant for, and appropria
Elizabeth Sagan
Sep 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Original: 3 stars.
I think I could read it while holding my breath.
And overpriced. You can find it on Youtube.
I love you, KH, but why am I feeling scammed?
I will still buy your books tho. But I will CHECK THE NUMBER OF PAGES.
EDIT 1, 2 stars. It could have been so much more, while still being a short thing (not that short tho). 2 stars for the message and for the theme and for the cute poem... but otherwise... it was... a waste... of mon
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Seemita by: Bloomsbury Publishing
Shelves: syria, war, family, graphic, asia, toi
[Originally appeared here:]

For long now, Khaled Hosseini has cemented his position as an author who imparts a subtle yet searing voice to the victims of war, riots and displacement, especially in the Islamic countries. We have clutched our hearts and have sobbed silent tears at his Hassan’s redemption and Mariam’s journey. And Sea Prayer, at its core, harbors a similar cry for life.

A father with his young son, Marwan pressed to his chest, is awaiting a sh
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Only a talent like Hosseini could conjure such poignancy and pain in a few scant pages. Beautiful in the telling, magnificent in its illustrated execution; a reminder that there are so many who will risk everything for refuge. Thank you, Mr. Hosseini.
“The skies spitting bombs.
These are the things you know.”

You do realise, that if these are things you don't know first-hand, you're just lucky, don't you? I sure do!

This is a most moving tribute to the countless, unlucky people displaced by war – which is a polite way of saying to those whose homes and towns have been bombed to smithereens so they have nowhere safe to live.

"I have heard it said we are the uninvited./ We are the unwelcome./ We should take our misfortune else
Tukunjil Nayeera
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This short yet very powerful book left me with a broken heart.

In September 2015 a photograph made global headlines which was taken by Nilüfer Demir, a Turkish photojournalist, and photographer based in Bodrum, Turkey. The photograph was of a young boy on a beach, fully clothed but lying face-down at the water's edge, like an exhausted toddler who had awkwardly fallen asleep. The young boy named Alan Kurdi, three-year-old Syrian refugee became a symbol of the plight of so many others fleeing conf
Left heartbroken after seeing the photo of toddler Alan Kurdi's body lying face-down on a Turkish beach, Hosseini sought to express his feelings, as a father, regarding families of refugees enduring physical and emotional loss to reach a potential safe harbor. Sea Prayer is Hosseini's tribute to refugees who have lost their lives and to those who have continued their journey after losing everything else. This short essay, written in the form of a fictitious letter from a refugee father to his sl ...more
Maria Espadinha
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um Pequeno Grande Gesto

Quando um cadáver dum menino de 3 anos, assoma à costa da Turquia, é legítimo interrogarmo-nos sobre as causas de tão chocante acontecimento!
Porém, assim que nos inteirarmos da nacionalidade da criança em referência, veremos dissipados todos os eventuais porquês!

Alan K, pertencia a uma família síria, incluída no grupo de desesperados que fogem à guerra fazendo-se ao mar, transportando consigo apenas um desejo — permanecer no Mundo dos Vivos.
Ao pequeno Alan, tal desejo não
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, but impactful read, Sea Prayer is a letter from a father to his son, reflecting on their life up until this point, and the potential hazards as they travel across the sea. You can feel the father’s love for his son, and also sympathize with the dread he must feel as they prepare for the risks that lie ahead, in an effort to escape danger and turmoil, to seek a better life.

Sea Prayer was a very quick read but one I really enjoyed. The illustrations were great as well, with the colors ch
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impactful, evocative, and profoundly moving!

Sea Prayer is an intense, beautifully depicted story that highlights the plight of thousands around the world who are forced to leave their homes and embark on a perilous journey to find safety and freedom for themselves and their families.

The prose is lyrical and fluid. The narration is unique and powerful and told entirely through a heartfelt letter written by a father to his young son. And the illustrations are a perfect complement to the compelling
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, well spent three minutes.
Farah Shamma
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Because all I can think tonight is how deep the sea, and how vast, how indifferent. How powerless I am to protect you from it.”
Colleen Fauchelle
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
This book came into work and I read it and then we were in Sydney last week and I got my husband to read it in a shop. I know, naughty but I will buy it as some stage.
We are days away from welcoming our second grandchild into this world and as grandparents we want the very best for him, healthy, safe and happy and in New Zealand he will have that.
But this book shows in places arround the world where there is war and upheavle that not all babies and children will have a safe free upbringing. Thi
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The gravity of the subject outweighs the slightness of this book; kudos to Hosseini for writing this even if it's a short war story.
A subtle yet searing voice that captures the entire refugee culture in the form of a letter written by a father to his dear son.
Those watercolor illustrations beautifully add hues to the blues.
Worth spending 2-3 minutes of your life!
PS: Obviously, it'd have been more amazing if it'd have been longer.
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"And I said to you,
Hold my hand.
Nothing bad will happen."

Khaled Hosseini was inspired to write the short story Sea Prayer after Alan Kurdi, the three year old Syrian Refugee drowned trying to reach safety. In the year after Alan's death 4176 others went missing or have died attempting similar journeys.

The author proceeds from this book will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation. For that reason I really wanted to purchase my own copy of this book.

This book is th
Susan Kennedy
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s not bad, but it seems a bit dark for a children’s book. The watercolor illustrations didn’t really do much for me. It’s a fathers heartfelt worries and that is beautiful and profound. A beautiful way to honor those lost though.

My feelings can only be relayed through animals at this point.





(I can't wait.)
Pre-ordered and anxiously awaiting!
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
5 beautifully tragic stars

This is a gorgeous book and the illustrations that accompany this book make the words even more poignant. This is a book that will take one five minutes to read, but send a message that will last quite longer than that.

A library book that was highly able to impact one, and once again my local library had it available to its readers.
Sep 21, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018-reads, e-books
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

I am keeping this very short because the synopsis of this book is longer than the book itself.

It made me feel sad and emotional. But this is not a story!! I think this was a smart way to raise funds for KH Foundation and giving you something for your money. So don't buy "the book" for the book itself, just buy it as a donation to the foundation.

I won't rate it and you can even listen and interact with a 360 video of th
Teresa Proença
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5e, n-afeganistao
Conto inspirado na história de Alan Kurdi, o menino sírio de três anos que morreu afogado no mar Mediterrâneo, em setembro de 2015, quando fugia com a sua família, em busca de segurança na Europa.

No ano seguinte à morte de Alan, outras 4176 pessoas morreram ou desapareceram ao tentarem essa mesma viagem. Este livro é dedicado aos milhares de refugiados que perderam a vida no mar quando tentavam fugir da guerra e da perseguição nos seus países de origem.

Uma mulher, numa livraria, pega num
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
‘Oh, but if they saw, my darling.
Even half of what you have.
If only they saw.
They would say kinder things, surely.’

This was ridiculously short but so beautiful. How does Khaled Hosseini manage to rip your soul out in just 48 pages??

I thought the illustrations were wonderful. But I really wish it was longer though.

.... my boy, your eyelashes like calligraphy,
closed in guileless sleep.
I said to you,
‘Hold my hand.
Nothing bad will happen.’
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Poetic and heartbreaking, sparse and deep, prose as simple and stunning as the beautiful watercolor illustrations sharing the pages with it. A must read at anytime, but especially so now.
Nabilah Firdaus
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A powerful illustrated piece written by Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis. The writing was inspired by the story of Alan Kurdi, the three year old Syrian refugee who drowned in the sea trying to reach safety in Europe in 2015. Beautiful and heartbreaking.
Nandini Bharadwaj
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Beautiful and heart-breaking! I wanted more.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: wrong illustrator link 3 13 Oct 15, 2018 07:45AM  
Best Seller Book ...: Book for October 2018-Sea Prayer 1 1 Sep 29, 2018 11:25AM  
Book for October 2018-Sea Prayer 1 4 Sep 29, 2018 11:21AM  
Once Upon A Time ...: Sea Prayer 1 3 Sep 26, 2018 04:11PM  
Play Book Tag: Sea Prayer - 5***** 4 20 Sep 21, 2018 10:17AM  
Play Book Tag: Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini - 5 Stars 5 20 Sep 21, 2018 07:18AM  
Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. In 1970 Hosseini and his family moved to Iran where his father worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran. In 1973 Hosseini's family returned to Kabul, and Hosseini's youngest brother was born in July of that year.
In 1976, when Hosseini was 11 years old, Hosseini's father obtained a job in Paris, France, and moved the family there. They were u
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“My dear Martin, in the long summer of childhood, when I was a boy the age you are now, your uncles and I spread our mattress on the roof of your grandfather’s farmhouse outside of Homs.” 1 likes
More quotes…