⭐️⭐️⭐️Favorited!!! Spoiler alert🎉
Book type: Chapter book/Middle Grade
Age recommendation: ages 8-12
Price: 9 usd
Islamic Screening: no religious concerns. Some mention of blood/physical fight but nothing extreme
The year is 2001- Fadi and his family are escaping from Afghanistan in the middle of the night. Suddenly, the Taliban show up and Fadi’s dad shouts to Fadi to grab his little sister and sprint to the truck. Fadi’s father and sister are helping his sick mother get on.
In the chaos, Fadi manages to get on but his little sister slips through his fingers and is left behind.
(The emotion of this scene was heartbreaking!)
Fadi blames himself for letting go of her, and the family starts their asylum in the United States broken-hearted. Fadi’s dad, an educated PHD graduate and wise man, has to drive taxis to make money. Fadi’s mom recovers from her illness but stays in bed due to depression at being separated from her youngest daughter.
Fadi is trying to adjust to a new school when he sees a photo contest that offers a trip to India as the prize. He is determined to win and go overseas to look for his little sister!
Then comes September 11. Two planes crash into the twin towers of New York, and Fadi’s small Aghan-American community is stunned. They are sure there will be blowback, and sure enough, an Islamaphobic attack puts a friendly Sikh neighbor into the hospital. Fadi himself gets jumped by two bullies at school, and his prized camera breaks. Fadi is devastated!
With help from friends, Fadi (who develops into a strong leader like his father) enters the contest, and though he doesn’t win, he glimpses a photo of his sister in a refugee camp and the family is reunited at the end❤️
Lessons: Wow! Where do I even start!!
There was so much beauty in this story. The emotion and the scenes felt real! The story was so relevant and relatable to kids growing up in the west and trying to navigate two cultures. There was even so many Islamic references, including a wonderful khutbah from the local Imam.
This is such a positive representation of Muslims in traditional publishing!
This is a must read!
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