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The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,445 Ratings  ·  250 Reviews
In an unprecedented partnership, ABC's Good Morning America, Simon Spotlight Entertainment, and Simon & Schuster Audio have teamed up to find the great American memoir from essays submitted in the fall of 2004. America will vote from three finalists for a winner, to be announced on April 22.
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published April 22nd 2005 by Simon Spotlight Entertainment (first published April 1st 2005)
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The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne SeierstadThree Cups of Tea by Greg MortensonKabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez
Afghanistan in Literature
17th out of 163 books — 202 voters
The Story of My Life by Farah AhmediA Long Way Gone by Ishmael BeahFalling Leaves by Adeline Yen MahThey Poured Fire on Us From the Sky by Benson DengKaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Best Non-Western Memoirs
1st out of 59 books — 18 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 01, 2012 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be required reading for all High Schoolers and those of us lucky to live comfortable lives in suburban America. Once you have read this book you will never again look at someone obviously from a different culture from you in the same light.
I picked it up by chance while browsing at the bookstore and read it easily in a couple of hours. It is written in the transparent style and emotional clarity of a child. You can almost sense the translation of language and culture as Farah's limited li
Johna Thaut
Dec 12, 2012 Johna Thaut rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! In some ways I was shocked that I enjoyed this book so much, because non-fiction books usually don't appeal to me. I typically look for books that have to do with things like ghosts or mysteries. This book was not something that I planned on enjoying, because it wasn't my typical reading style. To my surprise, this book introduced me to a new kind of writing that I enjoy.
I think that I loved this book so much because the events that took place in the book usually are
Oct 11, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: yal
This was a riveting story that served as a window into a world I have no experience with. The number and magnitude of obstacles the author faced in her childhood was stunning.
Jan 14, 2008 Nina rated it it was amazing
This book was seriously amazing and I am not kidding. It is about a afghan girl. The main Character Farah. Something horrible happens to her and she learns how to be responsible and control her life. She learns how to make her life the best it can be. The book tells how she gets threw her life and makes it how she wants it to be.
The main thing that got me was how dirty they keep everything over there. Her main goal is to get to America so her and her mom can live peacfully. This in non-fiction
Victoria Poerll
Oct 05, 2007 Victoria Poerll rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: a preteen suburban girl
How this author got a book deal is possibly the best set-up for a crappy book that I've heard so far. She won a contest to tell her story that was voted on by the public. Guaranteed to be a best seller, yes, but does it have any content?

The story isn't particularly poorly written, but it does read like a long, extended livejournal entry. But by her telling the story of her life in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, how she stepped on a land mine and went to Germany to get treated, and the problems
Jul 07, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-the-world
This is a wonderful memoir. At the tender age of seven, Farah Ahmedi stepped on a land mine, and she was put in the hospital. The hospital did not have the resources to deal with her injuries so she was flown to Germany, where she had multiple surgeries. She lived in Germany for two years without any family members (remember she was seven). She was sent back to her family, but the wars in her country were escalating. Farah and her mother were forced to flee Afghanistan when the Taliban invaded K ...more
Farah was born in Afghanistan and was fairly happy there with her family. But, one day while on her way to school, she stepped on a landmine and she lost a leg. She was lucky enough to be chosen to go to Germany, but while she was gone for nearly two years the war had gotten worse in her home country.

After losing her father, sisters and eventually brothers, Farah does the work she is able to support herself and her mother.

When Farah hears some group is taking widows and children to America, she
Sandy Watson
Sep 19, 2011 Sandy Watson rated it really liked it
This girl was the same age as one of my sons and it just seemed to make it personal. I saw the contrast to the lives they both had lived, just because she happened to be born in a war torn country where life and limb were both disposable. Her siblings were killed, her father was killed and her mother lost her ability to cope.
It was very moving and inspirational to see how she managed to make a new life for herself.
Apr 04, 2009 Erin rated it it was ok
I listened to this book on CD. The story itself was very interesting. The things that happen are not even things I could imagine. However, once the author comes to America, she is, at times, almost ungrateful about the support given to her. This kind of turned me off to her.
Dec 09, 2007 Amber rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
I have a special bias for biographies, especially for those about people different from me, who suffer though life, and their story educate. This is one of those books.
Apr 27, 2015 Eryn rated it really liked it
It's very inspiring. It makes you think about what other people are going through in other countries and how spoiled (some of) us Americans are.
May 22, 2009 Gail rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club-books
Story: Interesting cultural autobiography
Writing: ESL seventeen-year old author. Need I say more?
Ana Farida
Oct 29, 2011 Ana Farida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Judul : The Afghanistan Girl
Penulis : Farah Ahmedi dan Tamim Ansary
Penerbit : Imania
Tebal Buku : 334 halaman

Farah adalah tugu keteguhan. Dia tidak pernah berputus asa dengan segala musibah yang telah menimpanya di saat usianya baru menginjak 9 tahun. Meskipun dia kehilangan kedua tungkai kakinya, dia tetap semangat dalam menjalani hidup. Perang saudara di Afghanistan menyebabkan ayah, kakak dan adik perempuannya meninggal karena sebuah rudal meluncur dan menghancurkan sebagian rumah Farah. Keti
Mar 22, 2011 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Farah was seven-years-old and had overslept one morning. Worried that she was late for school she decided to take a short cut through a field, saving her two or three minutes but little did Farah know that decision would turn out to be the worst of her life. Sadly, Farah stepped on a land mine! Quickly a crowd gathered around her but no one seemed to know what to do until a neighbour came along, hailed a taxi and put Farah onto the back seat and delivered her to the hospital. Farah was in so muc ...more
Rajeshree Vejasegaran
The Other Side on The Sky , a memoir by Farah Ahmedi is an inspiring story of an Afghan girl who had suffered disability when she stepped on the land mine. Unfortunately,she also had lost her family and homeland due to war in Kabul. Farah is a woman who has so much self-will planted in her and indeed a remarkable individual. Despite being a victim to cruel circumstances of fate, she never gives up and thrive to survive the painful experience and also takes care of her mum.

"With a life like mi
Apr 21, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing
The Story of my Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky is a very emotional and compelling book. This book is definitely one of my favorite books I have read throughout the course of the semester and provided me with a new perspective on issues brought up in this book. As a future teacher, I found this book to be very relevant because with the increase of diverse students that will be in my future classrooms, it's essential to be aware of the struggles that ELL students face when adapt ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Jenben8426 rated it really liked it
Farah Ahmedi, a seven year old living in Kabul Afghanistan, was late to school one day, took a short cut, and stepped on a land mine. Her life would forever change. Her childhood ripped short, Farah begins a journey that will take her beyond the borders of her country and back then leaving her home forever; stretch her in ways she could never imagine physically, mentally, and emotionally; and teach her to rely on the strength of family, tradition, the generosity of strangers, and her hope in God ...more
Aug 03, 2014 Teji rated it liked it
A story of resilience.

Farah Ahmedi relates her experience growing up in Afghanistan, the loss of her leg to a land mine, the loss of her father and several of her siblings to bombing, the struggles of her and her mother to survive, without male relatives, in Taliban controlled Afghan, and her life in America as a refuge. This “memoir” ends while Ahmedi is still only about 18 or 19. Her story is told in a simple and straightforward style; as a result, this might be a good introduction for young
Alexandra Molitor
Mar 03, 2016 Alexandra Molitor rated it really liked it
First, we think the beginning was very detailed. We learned how she was when she was younger, and about her family. Then it talked about the story of how Farah got her leg blown off by a landmine, and had to go to Germany to get her leg chopped off. So she had to get a prosthetic leg. Then it talked about how Farah's family got split up, and they had to go to Pakistan. They then went to the embassy to get approved to go to America, and got a lot of appointments. Then they got to America. Farah' ...more
Dec 10, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
This book is lovely. It's the story of a girl with a lot of bad luck, but even more grit and tenacity. She's inspirational. The time line gets a bit tangled now and again but this was a very engaging read. Impressive for such a young thing.

Her mother's impressions of America were particularly eye opening.
Aug 02, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
While the book is especially relevant to American teenagers, I would recommend this to any American. Ahmedi's achievements in overcoming her trials are an inspiration to anyone who reads them, and this true story is an eye-opener for any American interested in learning about cultures vastly different from our own. At the same time, one is impressed by the deep similarities that exist between all human beings--common traits and behaviors both bad and good--but above all with Farah's own courage a ...more
Rita Jillabi

Good Reads
The Other Side of the Sky
Farah Ahmedi

Rita Jillabi
Friday, February 6, 2015

A young girl, Farah Ahmedi, has lived to tell tale through the surviving and the terror that occurred in the terrible war. Farah lived most of her life in Afghanistan and in refugee camps of Pakistan. She was only fourteen when most her family was slaughtered and lost her leg. Alyce, one of her only American friends, told her to write a book about her achievements. However, the young protagonist did not kno
Yasmine Tajmouati
Mar 06, 2015 Yasmine Tajmouati rated it liked it
February 6 2015

“The Story of my Life”, is the autobiography of Farah Ahmedi. This novel recounts her life and how she was able to survive tragedies. In the beginning, Farah already spoke about her happy ending, which tells the reader that everything is going to be all right. “One time last summer, my new American friends, Alyce and John, took me to a carnival here in the suburbs of Chicago, where I live now with my mother” (Ahmedi 3). Previously, Farah ad her family, which included of 4 siblings
Nov 08, 2009 Holly rated it liked it
This book gives us a glimpse of what it is like to be a female in Afghanistan. After completing this book, I feel more gratitude for the freedom that I experience in America. This is a compelling story of hope, redemption, and promise.
Muatasem Faden
Mar 23, 2009 Muatasem Faden rated it liked it
Today this remarkable woman, who makes a difference every single day, becomes a U.S. citizen. She says she is so grateful to have the freedom of choice in the country that has made such a difference to her
Sep 18, 2007 Leisl rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007_reads
This was a very interesting book. I really appreciated seeing the world from Farah's point of view. I am planning to put this book on a teen nonfiction booklist, but also recommend it to adults.
Tara Ethridge
Apr 15, 2016 Tara Ethridge rated it really liked it
A heartbreaking, albeit hopeful, memoir written by an Afghani teen who has lived so much hardship in her short life. From stepping on a land mine at the age of seven and losing a leg to living in a refugee camp in Pakistan to finally being able to move to the United States as a refugee, her story is an important one to read. Most especially during this time of so many refugees needing the opportunity for a new life. To have a deeper understanding of even how difficult that process of assimilatin ...more
Ca Shivani
Mar 06, 2014 Ca Shivani rated it really liked it
"Very inspirational....a small girl fighting against all odds in life with her spirit to make it in this life...."
Ana Gamonal
Mar 11, 2015 Ana Gamonal rated it it was ok
Provided some good insight into the daily life of a non-political otherwise middle class like family in Afghanistan, and their ongoing daily struggles and life threatening risks. However, Ahmedi doesn't seem to mention any gratefulness to the US for letting her in with open arms...rather she speaks about her and her mother's entitlement to welfare and other govt aide w/o any mention of appreciation. She does show much appreciation for one American friend she makes, but again seems to miss the bi ...more
English Education
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Christian Readers: Is Christianity Exclusive? 68 153 Dec 06, 2012 12:36PM  
  • West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story
  • Zoya's Story: An Afghan Woman's Struggle for Freedom
  • The Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan
  • Come Back to Afghanistan: A California Teenager's Story
  • A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan
  • My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban: A Young Woman's Story
  • The Rug Merchant
  • Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan: The Martyr Who Founded RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan
  • Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes To Weep
  • The Storyteller's Daughter: One Woman's Return to Her Lost Homeland
  • Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan
  • Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America
  • Anytime, Anywhere
  • Hapa Girl: A Memoir
  • Behind the Burqa: Our Life in Afghanistan and How We Escaped to Freedom
  • Oh My Baby, Little One
  • The Children of Willesden Lane. Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival
  • History of My Life, Vols. I & II

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