Let’s start with the cover. The cover of this book is just so beautiful. I know, I know…don’t judge a book by its cover, but in the case of this book, it works. When I saw it on the list for both the ProjectLitBookClub and the possible Truman nominees for the 2021-22 school year, I knew it would be one of the first ones I read.
Quick Summary – Jude is a young girl from Syria. She has an older brother named Issa. Her dad owns a shop near a place that is known for bringing in loads of tourists. Rumors of unrest permeate her city, and soon her brother is joining the cause against the government, much to his parents’ dismay. (I get the idea that his parents are not opposed to his beliefs but more want him safe and worry about his involvement.) As problems get closer to home, Jude and her mother travel to the United States to stay with her uncle, leaving her dad and brother behind. Jude has to learn to navigate life in the US with her extended family and learn that there can be other places that can feel like home.
The book is written in verse. I am beginning to really enjoy books written like this. My students tend to like these as well. (Although graphic novels still tend to win out with my struggling readers.) They read faster than a regular novel, and they allow for more creativity for the author.
I happened to read through some reviews on goodreads, which I try not to do often, at least until I have written my own. A couple people mentioned that this book wasn’t quite as lyrical as *insert other book*. Psssssh. People are really critical, and yes, I know that I have written a few negative reviews, but these complaints just seemed petty.
It’s a beautiful, hopeful story, and I loved it.