United States

Children’s book written by a former refugee inspires kids across the country

Somali refugee Habso Mohamud holds her childrens book It Only Takes One Yes

At just 24 years old, Habso Mohamud is already an accomplished children’s book author. But her life has not always been easy and accomplishing all she has took a lot of hard work and determination.

Habso’s parents are from Somalia, but they were forced to flee their home before Habso was born because of the civil war. Habso was born and raised in a refugee camp in Kenya. “Growing up in the refugee camp was pretty hard. I would walk 45 minutes just to go to school,” she says. But she never took her opportunities for granted. “I was actually fortunate to even go to school,” Habso explains.

Habso Mohamud at U.S. Captiol in Washington DC

When she was 10 years old, Habso and her family were resettled to Fargo, North Dakota. Habso continued her education in the United States, starting with elementary school and eventually going on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Cloud State University. It was during this time that she realized her passion for social activism and educating women and girls.

In 2018, Habso published her children’s book, ‘It Only Takes One Yes!’.

‘It Only Takes One Yes!’ is the story of Nasra, queen of the jungle. As queen, Nasra seeks to tackle the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by helping the homeless, feeding the hungry and making books grow on trees so that everyone can read them.

Habso Mohamud reading her book It Only Takes One Yes to children

Through her book, Habso hopes to inspire children—especially young girls—around the world to follow their dreams, no matter how big they may be.

“It’s really important for you to go after your dreams and say ‘yes’ to yourself. Because when you say ‘yes’ to yourself, everybody else will. But it all starts from you,” she says.

Now Habso is sharing her book and teaching people across the United States what it means to be a refugee. She hopes that every child who reads ‘It Only Takes One Yes!’ can see a piece of themselves reflected in the story. “I want to make sure kids across the world can open that book and be like,

‘I matter and I’m strong and I’m fearless.’”

Habso Mohamud hugging little girl

Get Inspired…

You can find more amazing stories written by and about refugees in the USA for UNHCR Read for Refugee book lists. Read for Refugees has books for people of all ages—from children’s stories like ‘It Only Takes One Yes!’ to autobiographies and everything in between.

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