Sue's Reviews > Shooting Kabul

Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai
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's review
Sep 01, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-reads, fiction, young-adult

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-- cultural and racial prejudice, religious tolerance, and diversity. Another theme is Fadi's guilt over losing his sister; through the book, he discovers that other members of his family feel guilty as well, and that nobody thinks it was his fault. All kids seem to carry guilt with them for things that are not their fault, and this book addresses it in a way that kids can relate to.

The author weaves in details about Afghan history and culture and Muslim beliefs, integrating them into the story and the characters seamlessly. The characters are believable and likable, and there is just the right amount of suspense. The author covers sensitive topics without preaching or scare tactics. This is a great book for kids today to read.
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