Apr 23, 14
9 and up, classroooms, families
Read in July, 2010
Set just before 9/11, Fadi and his family must flee the Taliban. His father, educated in Afghanistan and America with a PhD in agriculture is in Afghanistan to encourage farmers to grow crops other than opium poppies. The Taliban is impressed and asks Habib to be their UN ambassador. In good conscience Habib cannot represent the Taliban. Zafoona, Fadi's mother an educated woman cannot teach and so the family decides to flee.
One evening the family travels to a border and runs to jump on a truck. Fadi is shepherding 6 year old Mariam who slips from his grasp and is left behind by her appalled family when the truck speeds away from a Taliban attack.
The family has no choice but to continue to America and make a life in California while hiring agents to search Afghanistan and Pakistan for Mariam.
This story chronicles Fadi's first few months in school in California and his anguish about Mariam.
When 9/11 occurs and backlash erupts Fadi must assert himself even as he continues to find his place and reconcile his role in Mariam's separation from his family.
Worth reading for the Afghani point of view.