Apple Cake and Baklava or: A New Home for Leila

Leila is the new girl in Max’s class in rural Germany, and they soon become close friends. She has fled Syria with her family, having left her beloved grandmother and father behind. Her most cherished object is a walnut from her grandmother’s garden. Max is close to his own grandmother, who is very understanding of Leila’s situation, having fled her home in Pommern as a little girl. Leila is desperately sad when she loses her beloved walnut and, in a failed attempt, sets out to return to Syria.

Apple Cake and Baklava is a story about otherness, openness and the willingness to come to know one another. Many children will be aware of the latest surge of refugees and their plight. Leila’s is a sadly universal and timeless story of leaving behind a home country forever. While set in rural Northern Germany, it could equally take place in most European countries.

This is an absorbing book for older primary and younger middle-school children, and Franziska Harvey’s lovely black-and-white illustrations – some small, some full page – enrich the story.

Bastei Lübbe AG

Schanzenstrasse 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

Contact: Susanne Schneider

Tel: +49 221 8200 2706



Boje Verlag has been publishing books for children aged 3-15 for more than sixty years. It is known for its high literary and illustrative standards, and has published works by numerous renowned authors and illustrators. Boje became an imprint of Bastei Luebbe AG in 2010.

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