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On Two Feet and Wings

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,088 ratings  ·  172 reviews
He is in a foreign city, he is alone, and he is just a boy...
Close to his tenth birthday, Abbas has to leave his parents and friends, and flee Tehran. The Iran-Iraq war is at its bloodiest. The Ayatollahs, the rulers in Iran, have reduced the age of recruitment into the army. And if Abbas doesn’t leave soon, he will have to go to war.
In the strange and often frightening ci
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 2011 by Hachette India Children’s Books (first published November 1st 2005)
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Emaline This story is true. He probably won't write a sequel since this is a true book and he might not remember or want to write about the other parts of his…moreThis story is true. He probably won't write a sequel since this is a true book and he might not remember or want to write about the other parts of his life. I enjoyed it very much too! Glad you liked it :D I hope he writes a sequel though! I wonder if he ever will? I know he writes other books...(less)

Community Reviews

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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,088 ratings  ·  172 reviews

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Tiffany Wacaser
As a 9-year old, Abbas Kazerooni, is sent from Iran to Turkey to try and obtain a visa to move to Britain. Staying in Iran is dangerous, with children being drafted into the war. Abbas' parents literally sacrifice everything they have to get Abbas to Turkey. From there, he has to rely on his own ingenuity and the kindness of strangers to get his visa.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I read this memoir. I couldn't help but think of my own daughter, who is about to turn 10 and how I d
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Abbas leaves his family when he is 9 years old to escape being drafted into the army. He's alone on the streets of Istanbul, trying to survive. His journey is aided by the kindness of strangers and his innate uncanny sense of who is trustworthy and who is not.

On Two Feet and Wings is the author's autobiography. It's highly accessible, harrowing enough but not too graphic, making it highly suitable for upper primary - lower secondary students. In the most graphic scenes, Abbas is beaten up, has
Sue Holmes
This was a captivating story, but the extent of the nine-year old's recall is so likely that I found this undermined my enjoyment of the book.
Anna Davidson
I couldn't put this book down. What an incredibly resilient young person Abbas was! Can't wait to read the second book.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I had won this in a giveaway like a year and a half ago, but I never got around to reading it until this year for a summer assignment. I'm not really super interested in historical fiction, and there were somethings I weren't crazy about, but all in all this was a good read. :)
Wow, can one little boy have all the luck?

First Line:
It was a typical spring day in Tehran - hot, dusty, nothing special - when my life turned upside down, p.1.
In order to escape an encroaching war, that began recruiting children to fight, Abbas Kazerooni was sent, alone to Turkey by his parents. From there, Abbas had to quickly learn how to find lodging, exchange money, navigate the British consulate, all while trying not to get kidnapped, mugged, or killed. On top of all that, he was ni
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: near-east, kids, audiobook
This is an important story to tell, a child trying to escape a bad situation in his home country and stuck in Turkey by himself trying to get a visa to the UK. Unfortunately it’s not terribly well written - I think it would go better with the target audience, because the sentences are short and simple. It was hard to feel like I was in Abbas’s shoes because it doesn’t examine his emotions except in very basic ways.
Lora Desrosier
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a touching account of human desperation & courage! This dear, sweet, courageous child, and his parents who blindly sent him off... I was moved to tears, yet so inspired by the honesty & bravery of this beautiful little soul! Thank you for sharing your story, Mr. Kazerooni, and for telling it so beautifully.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterpiece. One of the books that made me think all the time how grateful I am I know how to read and literature exists.
May 15, 2018 marked it as want-to-read-own  ·  review of another edition
Free from Audio Book Sync Summer 2018
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
10 word summary: With savvy courage, Abbas conquers challenges no child should face.
#Iwanttohughim #hispoormother #kindnessofstrangers

🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔 If you don't rave about this book, I shall to look at you with concern and suspicion.
B.A. Wilson
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting true story about a 9-year old who fled from Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war. The writing isn't brilliant, but the story has its own kind of value.

Book 217 read in 2018

Pages: 256
Peggy Tibbetts
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abbas Kazerooni is only 9 years old when he is forced to flee his home and family in Iran to avoid being drafted into the military as a child soldier. Alone, he boards a plane for Istanbul, Turkey, where a family friend is supposed to meet him and help him obtain a passport so he can travel to Great Britain to live with his cousin. But the “friend” cruelly abandons him at the airport and he is forced to make his own way in a foreign land. Armed with a list of Iranian-friendly hotels, detailed in ...more
Could I give this 8 stars and 4 tissues?!!! I had to keep reminding myself that this book is a memoir. First, the writing, the story, the emotions, the people were compellingly communicated. What courage on the part of the writer and I would love to hear more of his life story.

BOOK TALK: You are nine years old (fourth grade). They are drafting nine year olds into the army. Your parents want to save you from military service so they put you on a plane to another country with most of their money,
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An incredible story of courage, resilience and sacrifice. Abbas Kazerooni is 9 years old when his parents send him to Istanbul to avoid recruitment in the Iranian army. Iran is ruled by Ayatollah Khomeini and Abbas's father, a Shah supporter, has fallen out of favor. The only chance Abbas has to succeed in life and escape from forced recruitment is a visa to UK. 9 years old and alone, Abbas Kazerooni has to navigate Istanbul and British bureaucracy to seek a brighter and different future.
Kat Morrison
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book written by my friend. It is hard to imagine how Abbas felt going through all of this on his own and, for me as someone who knows him it was incredible to realise how much he had experienced yet he is so grounded and one of the loveliest people you could ever hope to meet. Can't wait for the sequel which he is currently writing.
This book was my favorite book of all of the ones that I have read this year. On Two Feet and Wings is about a boy's journey to a foreign country all by himself. The story of Abbas is truly inspiring and completely interesting.
Aly Stratton
I certainly enjoyed this autobiography. The author is right; it is a unique story of courage and determination of a young boy. Yet there are thousands of stories like it, tales of children on their own in search of a better opportunity for a better life..
Jeannie May
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, heartbreaking, touching, uplifting. An incredible account of a child's fight for freedom, and his parents sacrifice for this to occur. Truly compelling.
Rhitik Bhatt
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
nice book
Find my complete review on Books My Kids Read.

The book doesn’t go into details about the war, but it is aimed to show how one boy survived a really harrowing experience. Abbas’s family had been well off until the ruling party comes to power. They are still comfortable, but as they continue to lower the recruitment age for the army, his parents know that if he doesn’t leave Iran he will likely be drafted and die fighting for a regime that has stripped his family of all they have. The family sells
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes, the power of an audiobook versus a print or visual version is beyond compare. Especially when it's told by the author, who in this case has lived through harrowing experiences as a child, and has found a way to tell his story with skill and compassion, as well as with the talent of a trained voice artist and with a very pleasant English public (i.e. private) school accent to boot. Abbas left Iran in the 80's as a 9 year old boy when the army of the Ayatollahs started recruiting boys f ...more
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did! This was another 2018 SYNC Audiobook.

Abbas Kazerooni wrote and read this captivating autobiographical story. This was during the 80's when the Iran-Iraq war was raging in Tehran, Abbas home town. They had just lowered the age of recruitment into the army and Abbas father is worried that his son will be recruited soon. They sell all they have to gather enough money for two airfare tickets to Istanbul, Turkey. Abba's father's passport has bee
Mary Havens
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive-audio
An amazing story.
Kazerooni’s resourcefulness and good luck makes for a harrowing tale. I was nervous the entire book, hoping that he would make it (logically, I knew he would be fine since he wrote this book but it still was a bit nerve-racking considering his age). I had also just finished a book on human trafficking so I was convinced Abbas would be taken advantage of.
I have a 10 year old son and there were many heart breaking parts. Such a difficult time in his family’s life - really for the
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one amazing story about survival. Abbas Kazerooni needs to leave his family and home to avoid being drafted into the military at the age of 9. Because his family is on the wrong side of politics he will most assuredly be targeted. His family sells everything they own in order for Abbas to escape to Istanbul with his mother, but at the last minute his mother is denied travel status and he must go on his own AT THE AGE OF NINE to a foreign country where he does not speak the language. His ...more
Kath Ann
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this as one of the free audio titles offered by . It's a true story of the author's life narrated by the author. An amazing story of his escape from Iran at the age of 9 during a time when they were lowering the age to conscript young boys into the army to the age of 8 years old! His father, once a man of wealth and influence, is now unable to leave the country, so they sell everything to buy tickets for Abbas and his mother to fly to Turkey to obtain Visas so the ...more
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This was fascinating and hearing it from, not only the author's words but also the author's voice gave it an extra level of intrigue. There were some times when it was clear the author is not a professional voice actor, but I think hearing it from him was more important than a professional level of narration. There were also a couple of times when he states that something "changed the course" of his life, but it doesn't really seem to? (view spoiler) ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook Sync free audiobooks for their 2018 YA summer program week 3.
This is the true story of 9yr old Abbas and his solo flight from Tehran to avoid conscription into the army during the Iran-Iraq war. Abbas finds himself on his own in Istanbul, in luck with a few helpful adults, but mostly getting along by his wits and ability to gauge people well. He has to find a place to stay, a place to change money, and his way to the consulate to begin the process of applying for a visa... and survive
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This audiobook was read by the author. It is a true story and it is amazing.
Abbas was 9 years old when the Iranian regime decided to change the age of mandatory entry into the army to 10. His once well-off and aristocratic father realizes he must get Abbas out of the country. The plan was for Abbas and his mother to go to Turkey, apply for British visas and move there where a relative would sponsor them. Unfortunately they turned his mother away at the airport and 9 year old Abbas went to Istanb
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would you be prepared to leave your family to avoid war? Well, Abbas Kazerooni, from On Two Feet And Wings, was faced with that decision. An autobiography that tells a heartbreaking story of a boy from Tehran, Iran. At only ten years old he had to leave his country alone or fight in a war. Abbas’s family raised enough money to fly to Istanbul, Turkey. In this foreign city Abbas must acquire a VISA. After facing many hardships, can he find anyone in this cruel city to assist him? I loved how the ...more
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Abbas Kazerooni is a lawyer in California, USA. He is also a professional actor, writer and producer. Shows he has acted in include Sleuth on the London stage (lead role); the BBC's The Land of the Green Ginger (lead role); HBO's The Hamburg Cell; and the independent feature film Universal Senses. On Two Feet and Wings is his first book.
“I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you. Just be strong a little longer. Pray to God, and you will see that He will answer you. I pray for you every night... just as I taught you to do.” 3 likes
“You cannot imagine how much I miss you... The house does not feel the same. I keep feeling that you are here or thinking that I see you. I even think that I can hear you some afternoons...I go out to see... I look for you, but I can't find you. My life is not the same without you.” 2 likes
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