Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 12th

I had intended to write a post on September 11th, in which I waxed eloquently about how the events of 9/11 affected me deeply, and also helped me to focus my writing and start my career as a children's author. (Which is all true.)

Alas, I was too busy reading a book about a boy escaping Afghanistan to write that post. Here's the book I read on September 11th, and it's the best middle-grade novel I've read all year:

Shooting Kabul, by N.H.Senzai

Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers/ 2010

Shortly before the events of 9/11/2001, 11 year old Fadi escapes from Afghanistan with his family to America, as the Taliban close in. But his little sister Mariam is left behind, and lost. How can Fadi adjust to his new life in the United States, when he suffers enormous guilt over losing his six-year-old sister? How can he possibly explain to the bullies at school that he's not a terrorist? Will he ever see Mariam again?

This heart-wrenching story really grabbed me. Find a copy and read it. That is all.


Laura S. said...

Wow, just reading the description gives me chills. I can't even imagine how Middle-Easterners who have absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 must feel in our country. Will I need a box of tissues when I read this??? Thanks for the suggestion!

Linda Benson said...

Laura - I cried several times.

I really hope this book finds its way into schools and the hands of students. It does a pretty even-handed job of trying to explain the complicated political stuff going on, and through the eyes of one boy, the main character, it has a lot to say about bullying and tolerance. Plus it's a good adventure story. I think boys will like it for that reason, and I loved it for the emotional aspects, too.

N.H. Senzai said...

Dear Linda,

I'm so glad that you enjoyed SHOOTING KABUL -- My goal was to give a nuanced, balance look at a part of the world where we Americans are involved in militarily, but know so little about.

NH Senzai