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Shooting Kabul

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  2,413 ratings  ·  496 reviews
Fadi never imagined he’d start middle school in Fremont, California, thousands of miles from home in Kabul—and half a world away from his missing six-year-old sister, Mariam.

Adjusting to life in the United States isn’t easy for Fadi’s family, and as the events of September 11 unfold, the prospects of locating Mariam in war-torn Afgh
ebook, 272 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (first published June 22nd 2009)
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Emmett This book is so good! the Sister gets lost behind in Afghanistan when there is a huge rush to get on a smuggling bus that will go past the border to…moreThis book is so good! the Sister gets lost behind in Afghanistan when there is a huge rush to get on a smuggling bus that will go past the border to Pakistan to escape Taliban rule. All about how to find the sister.SUPER GOOD!!!!!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brian Kelley
After reading multicultural titles Bamboo People, by Mitali Perkins; The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez; and Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, I started to become critical of the books I made available to my students. I took stock of my classroom library--several hundred titles--it was lacking in variety. Where were the multicultural books? Where were the books that appeal to boy readers? Where were the books that could challenge my best readers? For each category I could think of, ...more
As a jh reading teacher who is trying to cover a multi-cultural classroom, I am going to teach this as a unit. This book covers stereotypes, bravery, family love and loyalty in a refreshing book for teens. Thanks N.H. Senzai for giving me a platform that will definitely impact students (EVEN boys!). By the way....I NEVER cry....I was crying!!!! That is quite the accomplishment. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in a few hours.
Ms. Rose
As a middle school English teacher, I found this book so impressive, especially for the audience for which it is written. The book covers issues of racism, classism, bullying, guilt, and loss (to name a few.) The story was incredible and while this is a short read for an adult I loved every moment of it and can't wait to share it with my high-readers!
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

There are some books that carry so much weight, it’s miraculous they get off the ground at all. It can be story weight or character weight, or outside weight from press or advertising. Mockingbird was a very weighty book. Katherine Erskine had to juggle Asperger’s Syndrome, a dead sibling and a community recovering from a school shooting, and I think that the weight of it all put together caused the book to drag its feet on the ground, unable to hold it all in. Shoo
Sep 26, 2013 Maggie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai is an enthralling story -- based off a true one -- about the strength of bonds between siblings and a family, hope, and perseverance against all odds. It is a truly inspiring, amazing book, and I would recommend it to almost anyone.

The story begins in Kabul, Afghanistan, home of the main character, Fadi, and his family -- younger sister Mariam, older sister Noor, and his mother and father. His family had left Afghanistan for America so his father could get a PhD, bu
Fadi was just a normal kid with a normal life in afganistan, when the Taliban arrives they flee to america. But when 9/11 happens, every thing goes downhill as the search for his little sister gets a lot more complicated.
My Kid/Teen Critics say to read this one.

I really loved this book. It was about a boy and his family escaping from Afghanistan before 9/11. Everything is going well, until his little sister gets lost in the scramble to get on a bus out. Once they get to America, the boy tries to figure out a way to get his sister back, while suffering teasing at school. I highly recommend it to anyone older than ten.
Reviewed by: Anne Age:13
Fadi is a boy stuck in Afghanistan and all he wants to do is get out, but when his family tries to escape the Taliban attack the meeting point for the traffickers and his little sister is left behind. So when he gets to the US, Fadi tries multiple times to try and find solutions to finding his sister. One day he discovers a photography competition and enters hoping to get the grand prize which is a trip to India. A chance to find his sister. He doesn't receive the prize in the end, but when he g ...more
I think 9-to-12s would really like this story, although it wasn't the best young adult novel I'd ever read. For the criticisms:

1. I think the ending would have been much more effective without the epilogue, which just seemed anticlimatic to me.
2. Fadi should have been showing a lot more culture shock -- for a kid raised in Afghanistan moving to San Francisco, he acts with remarkable aplomb. Even making allowances for his Western-influenced family, I found it unbelievable. The same applies to the
Shooting Kabul is probably one of the most loving and compassionate novels I have ever read. A family living in Afghanistan during the time when the Afghans and the Soviet Union were at war. With the Taliban threatening everyone, Fadi's family decides to leave Afghanistan illegally. They travel to Jalalabad to catch a ride to Peshawar, Pakistan. When the truck arrives to take them to Peshawar, Maraim, Fadi's little sister, is left behind, due to Fadi's mistake of letting go of her hand. The rest ...more
My daughter's fourth-grade class read this, and after the author was gracious enough to Skype with them for their book discussion, I decided to read it as well. I'm really glad that I did. When Fadi and his family flee war-torn Afghanistan just before 9/11, youngest sister Mariam is accidentally left behind. As they try to settle and begin a new life in California while finding a way to return for Mariam, Fadi has to adjust to the bigotry and racism that many Muslims suffered in the U.S. after 9 ...more
Gurvir Bajwa
"Shooting Kabul" by N.H Senzai was a very intriguing and touching book for me to read. This book takes place in the summer of 2001 and Fadi and his family decide to illegally leave Afghanistan because of the Taliban. They decide to leave at midnight in a truck to cross the border to a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan. While trying to go into the truck, Fadi's little sister Mariam gets left behind because she lets go of Fadi's hand. Her doll was about to fall so when she tried to get it, she le ...more
A gut-wrenching story set in the year 2001. Fadi’s parents make the difficult decision to illegally leave Afghanistan and move back to the states where they once lived five years prior. When the underground transportation arrives, the Taliban arrives causing a panic and stir, which leaves Fadi dragging his baby sister through a heavy crowd. As the Father pulls up Fadi from the truck, Mariam’s hand slips out of Fadi’s. The truck speeds away in order to avoid the Taliban, leaving this little six-y ...more
Zoe C
The book Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai is about a boy named Fadi who has run away from the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan to Fremont, California. But, in the process of escaping his little sister, Mariam, gets lost in the crowd and does not make it to America with the rest of the family. As the events of 9/11 unfold, getting Mariam out of Afghanistan seem slim. Then, when a photography competition is announced with a grand prize to India, Fadi sees a chance to go to Afghanistan to rescue Mariam. ...more
Kristen Herzog
Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai is a can't put down grade 3-6 book about a family's journey out of Afghanistan and to the U.S. seeking asylum. Fadi is the narrator of the story and tells how his family needs to get away from the Taliban and seek medical attention for his mother. Fadi's job during this fateful night of escape is to keep track of his sister, Mariam. But somehow in all the commotion he breaks hand contact and looses her in the crowd that is running to jump on the truck to Pakistan. E ...more
Andrew Z
Core Reading

The main message of Shooting Kabul By N.H. Senzai is that if you try hard enough, even when their are strong feelings of hopelessness and despair and you just feel like quitting, you will eventually get to your goal. What the reader comes to understand when they read this book about the author's perspective on human behavior is that the biggest blunder a human will make when striving towards a goal is feeling as if their attempt towards their goal is pointless and
Hadi is from Afghanistan and just to moved to America because of Taliban. On the way to America, his sister got lost because he and she let it go the hand. So he feels so guilt. When they got to America, he struggled a lot. Different culture, different language and other things. Also 9/11 made it worse for them. Just because they are from Afghanistan.

I felt connection by reading this book because I came from Japan and when I came here I was struggling a lot speaking English, keep up with study,
Read this today for a parent/student book club happening at my school. As a former ELA teacher, I spent a lot of time trying to find a book that taught the culture of the middle east without stereotyping, but at the same time, captivating enough to hold a middle schooler's attention. After settling on the Breadwinner series, I find this to be equally wonderful- more current yet just as tragic. It's crazy to me that Afghanistan really has known nothing but war in the last 45 years. What I loved a ...more
An 11-year-old boy named Fadi lives in Kabul, Afghanistan where the Taliban are trying to take over. Because of this Fadi does not want to live in Afghanistan anymore and neither does his family. They plan an escape to America so they can live a normal life. So one night a truck comes to pick them up but Mariam (Fadi's little sister) gets left behind. After that Fadi is always blaming himself that he left Mariam behind and wants to retreat back to Afghanistan to rescue her. His family is poor so ...more
Edward Sullivan
Appealing story about Afghan refugees who escape the oppression of the Taliban shortly before the September 11th attacks.
Fadi, a young and brave Afghani boy, wanted to safely make it out of Afghanistan with his family so the Taliban, a terrorist group, wouldn’t find his family. So, they were forced to use all the money their dad, Habib, saved up from his salaries to pay a truck to take his family to Peshawar, the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but as the truck arrives at midnight, so many families jump out of their hiding spots to get on the truck with their families so they could leave. There was a lot of ch ...more
Karen Arendt
A strong multicultural story about an Afghani family coming to the United States seeking asylum. The younger daughter, Mariam, is accidentally left behind and each family member blames themselves. Fadi blames himself the most because he was lost his grip on her hand when they were trying to jump into the truck. Fadi deals with prejudices against him particularly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He joins the photography club in the hopes of winning-the grand prize is an airline ticket ...more
An excellent book for the young adult market. I love books with happy endings that happen to make me cry. I suppose because I'm "still" one these snively "sensitive" guys, or more likely, perhaps, I just let my "shell" down long enough now and then for a little sand to get in & create a pearl. I'm still a little unsure how I met the author, perhaps it was through a bookmark left behind at a job search club in the silicon valley, perhaps I happened to have been in a class with her at the same ...more
Amber Keck
Based on the author's husband's experience fleeing war-torn Afghanistan, Shooting Kabul tells the story of young Fadi as his family escapes from the Taliban's rule in the year 2001. Fadi's father plans and pays big money for their escape in the middle of the night, only to lose Fadi's six-year-old sister Mariam along the way. Arriving to their new life in Fremont, California, the family is nothing short of devastated as they continue on with school and finding jobs, all while waiting to hear the ...more
Sandra Stiles
Okay, get your box of tissues ready. From the minute I opened this book I could not put it down. The opening situation was such I had to read to find out how it ended. Usually I will skip to the ending then go back and fill in the details. This one I read straight through. I could not imagine what this family went through trying to escape the Taliban. My heart broke for Fadi when he realized he had messed up and lost the one thing he was responsible for, his six year old sister Mariam, how scare ...more
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway.

I read the whole book in one sitting! Set in the time around 9-11, an Afghan family escapes Afghanistan for asylum in the US. One member of the family, 6-year old Mariam, is accidentally left behind in the escape. The story follows the family getting back on their feet in San Francisco, with 6th grader Fadi going to school and trying to win a photo contest that he thinks will help him rescue his sister. The book covers important themes for young readers
253 pages
Realistic Fiction
By N.H. Senzai
Shooting Kabul first takes place in the capital of Afganistan, Kabul. Terriozed by terriosts Fadi and his family want to escape to the United States. This is no easy task though. While escaping they loose Mariam the youngest of the family. Throughout the story Fadi has to find a away to get back the beloved sister he lost. To make things even tougher the events of September 11 make it almost impossible. Will Fadi find a way to get his sister back or will s
Sean Keevin
As a reader, I thought this book was fantastic. I have not read a book like this before, so I really liked that it opened up my reading scope. It relies heavily on the Muslim faith to tell the story, which I learned quite a bit about. I had not known much about the religion before, but after reading the novel, I know the basics of the faith. It also contains some factual data about Afghanistan, which I liked. I think Senzai included it because it was necessary to the plot, but it also added a ce ...more
The story begins in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Fadi and his family must flee and find refuge in the United States. Just as they board the truck that will take them to safety, Fadi looses his grip on his younger sister's hand. He and his family must live with the guilt of leaving Mariam behind in the war-torn country. Fadi's hope is renewed when he enters an art contest at his new school in the United States. He thinks he may have a chance to travel to India and cross back into Afghanistan t ...more
Abby Johnson
After the Taliban pressures his father to join them, Fadi and his family must flee Afghanistan. They sell all their belongings and use their life savings to secure passage to Pakistan. On the night that they board the truck, something terrible happens. People are scrambling to board the truck, desperate to escape the country. Fadi's six-year-old sister Mariam drops her doll and, in turning back to look for it, lets go of Fadi's hand. The truck takes off, trying to outrun the Taliban members who ...more
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I grew up speaking two languages, balancing life lived on the edge of two cultures, and, happily, two cuisines—tandoori chicken and hot dogs, grilled side by side on the 4th of July. I got on a plane for the first time at two months, in Chicago, IL, where I was born, and have been travelling ever since. I grew up in San Francisco, Jubail, Saudi Arabia, and attended boarding school in London, Engla ...more
More about N.H. Senzai...
Saving Kabul Corner Ticket to India Flucht im Mondlicht: Eine Geschichte aus Afghanistan Escape from Aleppo

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