All too soon the boy and the two boat strangers were climbing aboard a rumbling bus.
Kanella stood beside the bearded man, who was kneeling and gripping her by the ruff.
“You stay here with us, Kanella. This is your home, for now. He and his family will have to travel on and find one for themselves. ”
With panicked eyes she watched the bus door close. Why was the bearded man allowing the boy to leave the camp?
The boy’s round face appeared in a square window, the woman’s face behind his. As she waved, she smiled, but the boy did not.
A frantic squeal burst out of Kanella’s chest. She wrenched herself free and sprinted after the bus as it pulled out onto the road.


The first work for young readers by award-winning author Steven Heighton is a heartfelt early chapter book about a stray dog who befriends a young boy in a refugee camp on a Greek island. Based on a true story.


Kids who read this exceptional story will surely feel the importance of understanding the plight of refugees running from untenable conditions.

- Sal's Fiction Addiction Blog

Beautifully written start to finish, this book is an absolute gem. … It’s a book that crosses all age lines. Get it. Read it. And please, Steven Heighton, write more young peoples’ books.

- YA Dude Books Blog

[S]uitable for reluctant readers.

- Winnipeg Free Press

[T]he story as told from a dog’s perspective really drives home the point that compassion and kindness go a long way in life.

- Mr. Alex's Bookshelf Blog

Based on a true story, a poignant, heartwarming introduction to the lives of refugees. STARRED REVIEW

- Kirkus Reviews

[A] gently told story of refugees … [with] a lovely, unique tone.

- The International Educator Blog

A tender and compassionate story.

- School Library Journal

The Stray and the Strangers is not only a must-read, but it would be excellent as a teaching tool for human relations, globalization, empathy toward refugees and immigrants and basic human kindness.

- CM Review of Materials