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Staples, Suzanne Fisher.
New York : Farrar, Straus and Girous, 2005
ISBN 0374380252

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Najmah's life in Afghanistan has never been easy but at least she had her family.  But after 9/11, the Taliban invade her home and take her father and brother away to fight with them.  Then the Americans attack and her mother and infant brother are killed in an air raid.  Knowing she cannot stay, Najmah disguises herself as a boy and begins the long journey to Pakistan in the belief that she will be safe there.  She also believes that her father and brother will head there when they can.  At the same time, we meet Nusrat,  an American who has moved to Pakistan with her doctor husband to help the refugees.  Nusrat has not heard from her husband since he left to help in Afghanistan.  The two women meet in a refugee camp where they wait for news of there loved ones.

Booktalk #2

Two women – Najmah, a 14 year old Afghan girl and Nusrat, an American woman who has converted to Islam come together in post 9/11 Pakistan. Alternating chapters tell their stories. Najmah’s family lives in Kunduz Provence. Her father and brother are taken by the Taliban; her mother dies in a bombing raid. Nusrat’s husband is a doctor who is running a clinic in the north. She has not heard from him for a long time. In the meantime she is running a school for refugee children, offering hope for the future. Through Najmah’s eyes the reader can experience the shock and struggle for life. Nusrat’s story of conversion will be an eye-opener to western readers as will the discussion of Islam. This is a compelling story of life, death and hope.  (Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards nominee, 2008-2009)

SUBJECTS:     Afghan War, 2001- -- Fiction.
                        Afghanistan -- Fiction.
                        Refugees -- Fiction.
                        Peshawar (Pakistan) -- Fiction.


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