Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard

Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard

by Mawi Asgedom, Dave Berger, Mawi


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Read the remarkable true story of a young boy's journey from civil war in east Africa to a refugee camp in Sudan, to a childhood on welfare in an affluent American suburb, and eventually to a full-tuition scholarship at Harvard University.

Following his father's advice to "treat all people-even the most unsightly beetles-as though they were angels sent from heaven," Mawi overcomes the challenges of language barriers, cultural differences, racial prejudice, and financial disadvantage to build a fulfilling, successful life for himself in his new home.

Of Beetles and Angels is at once a harrowing survival story and a compelling examination of the refugee experience. With hundreds of thousands of copies sold since its initial publication, and as a frequent selection as one book/one school/one community reads, this unforgettable memoir continues to touch and inspire readers. This special expanded fifteenth anniversary edition includes a new introduction and afterword from the author, a discussion guide, and more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316826204
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/01/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 67,868
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 10 - 18 Years

About the Author

Mawi Asgedom is an author, sought-after speaker, and educator. He has inspired over one million students through his books, speeches, and award-winning online leadership courses. Oprah Winfrey called her interview with Mawi one of her top twenty moments, and Essence recognized Mawi as one of the "40 of the Most Inspiring African-Americans."

As a child, Mawi fled civil war in Ethiopia and survived a Sudanese refugee camp for three years. After being resettled in the United States, Mawi overcame poverty, language barriers, and personal tragedy to graduate cum laude from Harvard University, where he gave the commencement address to an audience of thirty thousand.

Mawi lives in Illinois with his family. He invites you to learn more about his work in education at MawiLearning.com.

Table of Contents

A New Life
Playground Warfare
The Camp
God's Angels
Days of Mischief
Libee Migbar
The Making of a Man
Coffee Tales
The Unmaking of a Man
Eyeing the Mountaintop
Father Haileab
Izgihare Yihabkoom
The HAT Foundation

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Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from A Refugee Camp to Harvard 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I a\have ever read and i went to see him speak and he is the most modivational person i have ever heard and he made me cry. I know he will have a good life and he doesn't need me to say how good it is to get his book to sell but I wanted to say GREAT BOOK and God Bless =) (check his web site at www.mawispeaks.com )
LittlePinkVampireB More than 1 year ago
Very insirational story, a must read for children and adults!
ninja10 More than 1 year ago
The autobiography Of Beetles And Angels by Mawi Asegedom is amazing. The book is about how young Mawi Asegedom goes through a life changing journey from a refugee camp to Harvard. His journwey is inspirational. He talks about the obstacles he had to overcome. He also talked about how he was mad about the way people treated him when he was growing up. He had to deal with the dificulty of learning a new language and he had to adapt to the social customs of America. Even with all these obstacles, he was able to make it to Harvard, which is a great accomplishment. He has fulfilled a dream that not many people, immagrant or not, can fulfill. His story is inspirational. My favorite chapter of this book is chapter nine. This is because it reminds me how everyday my parents and their friends gather to drink cofee and tell tales, which is very humerous. I think this book is age appropriate to anyone who wants to read it. The literary device that I took with me is " the exchange of gifts blesses the giver more than the reciever."
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Read this book and fell in love with it. If you are in need of A book that will change your point of view and possibly even make you a better person pick this. It is written so wonderfully i hae made it the number one in my top 10 favorite books
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book to me most inspiring and showing what people are capable of. Mawi Asgedom faces many obstacles throughout his life but never stops trying. I truly think this a book worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An autobiography of a young boy at age three who escapes Ethiopia by foot because of the civil war, and goes to a Sudanese refugee camp where he will live in an adobe for the next three years with his family. At age seven, he and his family immigrates to the United States where they overcome financial challenges, racial prejudice, and put-downs. After his hard work and remembering his father¿s advice to treat people as if they were angels sent from heaven, he earns himself a full-tuition scholarship to Harvard University and delivers the commencement address at his graduation in 1999.
Dottiehaase on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Of Beetles & Angels is a contemporary autobiography of a young man's journey to success. When he was four years old, Asgedom's family left their war-ravaged home in Ethiopia and spent three years in a Sudanese refugee camp before coming to the U.S. in 1983. He later earned a full scholarship to Harvard where in 1999 he delivered the commencement address. Told from Mawi's point of view as a teenager, he describes the conditions in Ethiopia, their escape to Sudan's refugee camp and finally their emigration to America. Once in the United States, things don't immediately fall into place. Mawi is faced with many trials and tribulations, hardships and pain. Nonetheless, he follows his fathers advice to "treat all people- even the most unsightly beetles - as though they were angels sent from heaven," Mawi overcomes racial prejudice, language barriers and financial disadvantage, eventually realizing his dream. Not the best writing in the world, but the story is very good. Mawi is now a motivational speaker.
Mdshrk1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This tale is inspirational in that it tells of one family's travails in coming to America. It is also the reexamination of a boy's relationship to his father.
nancyjensen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mawi tells the story of his childhood, fleeing Ethiopia with his family as a young child and then he tells of his growing up years outside of Chicago. Struggling at the poverty level, the family perseveres, always pursuing excellence in education. Mawi is there as a teenager when his older brother dies from an unecessary car accident shortly before his high school graduation and again when his father dies just a few short months later. After high school Mawi wins a full scholarship to Harvard. Mawi's persistence towards excellence pays off and he begins to tell his story publicly. I read this story this spring as part of a workshop training in ELL offered at my school. We do have a multicultural population at our urban school and I found this story to be relevant. Just this morning one little first grade girl shared that her father had been murdered. This is true, it's reality for many families here. This was eye opening to me. In the classroom this month we are circling the globe. We are learning a song about the 7 continents and we're looking at one country a week. This week it's Italy. Next week India. After that Vietnam. Then Africa. I have a parent volunteer lined up to share their country. An appreciation for our heritage, no matter where we are from, matters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was reading this book for school and it was great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Of Beetles & Angels is an autobiography written by Mawi Asgedom. It was a very intriguing book about a man named Mawi Asgedom and how he went from living in Sudan during its civil war to graduating from Harvard. It also talked about the struggles of being Black in an all white neighborhood. Mawi went from being an immature kid to becoming a grown man who gives to the needy. I liked the detail Mawi went into when he talked about his life in Sudan. I also enjoyed when he talked about all the pranks and fights he got into while he was in elementry school and how the rules were different from Sudan. However, I didn't like that there wasn't much action in the book and towards the end of it, it started to go through things very quickly without much detail. Even though there are some minor flaws,  I encourage all readers to read this story because it teaches that it doesn't matter where you are from or how rich or poor you are. You can achieve your dreams as long as you work at them. I give this book 4.9 stars out of five. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LiQingHuang525 More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding story of a young man with great achievements. These books talk about the young man the whole life before he graduated the college. This book is good for the reading. This book is about a family that lived well in Ethiopia, but he father want to move to America, then his family follow his father. America and Ethiopia are different country, they had a little trouble when they got here, but with time life treats them better. 
Hongchen0723 More than 1 year ago
Book review This is the second book what I read. This book written by Mawi Asgetom based on true story. This book was the first he published. He is from east Africa and come to America to fulfill his dream and successful life for himself. It is not easy to achieve on dream in another country. This book inspired immigrates. When I read this book it was so confused to me because he used the comparison and personification in this book. That's why this book gives more fun to the readers. I am personally like this book. This book sometimes makes me smile and sometimes make cry and also inspired me a lot when I want to give up. “Treat all people –even the most unsightly beetles-as though they were angles sent from heaven” Mawi’s father said. I really want to recommend this book to the person who is in despair.
Thu More than 1 year ago
This book is a biography of Mawi, how does life of Mawi change between Africa and America. How does Mawi and his brother get bully by other people, it also shows how does local people treat immigrants. In the book, Mawi is focus on his family, most of time is talking about his brother or his father. I think Mawi talks about these two people most of time because the most important people of his life is dead, and this book is a way to remember those two people. In this book only a few part have talked his mother, sister or himself. At the end he had just used a few words to talk about how does his full life looks like. In this there are using a lot of literary element, such as metaphor, personification, similar and so on, that make the book more interesting and make English language stronger.  This book gives me a sad feeling, because it talks about how life was living with his brother and father. Even it is hard or something others, Mawi is happy with that and has impression of that. So Mawi wants to write the memory about his brother and father. At this book, there is one thing, we can learn which is treating everyone as the angel, because it is good thing that people could have. People can treat each other as angel that can make a better world. As book, Mawi have gone to Harvard because he had to study very hard, he read the book many times to get fully understand of it. Those work can hem have A’s grade, so we should learn that. So everyone will have the great knowledge.  Compare other books I have read, it is good story. As “the true daily of part-time Indian”, it is about a boy call Junior who left his own Rez to white people’s school, and he became inside white, outside red. Those two story have little similar. Those two people went to another place that different to their original and have life on there. They also talk about different culture.  I will give this book 3 stars, because I don’t like this kind of books, and it is a good story to make people understand how does immigrant are be treat. I will recommend this book to people who are immigrant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book changed my life. A must-read.
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