Monday, August 19, 2019

80. Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

listened to Audio - borrowed from the library
read by Vaneh Assadourian
Unabridged audio (3:50)
2019 Balzer & Bray
352 pgs.
Middle Grade CRF
Finished August 19, 2019
Goodreads rating:   4.48 - 1884 ratings
My rating: 3
Setting: Contemporary Syria, then US

First line/s:  "It is almost summer and everybody smells like fish,
except for right down by the sea
where if you hold your nose just right
you can smell the sprawling salt water and the jasmine

My comments:  I wish I'd read this instead of listened to it - the words in verse are so much more beautiful than listening to what sounds like prose.  The book seemed to end abruptly.  I wasn't expecting it because I was listening to it and it had not been very long - so much shorter because it's written in verse.  I found the first half of the book, the part that took place in Syria, to be a little bit slow going.  And I wish that it had given me a little more feel for the country of Syria.  It didn't.  Once they got to America the story became a little more interesting.  It was intriguing to think about how a newcomer to America would not realize the prejudice against Muslims.  I don't think I'd ever considered that point of view, particularly from an innocent young girl who only know of the strife in her country and being a Muslim was just part of every day for her.  Very character driven.  I wanted more setting!

Goodreads synopsis:  
I am learning how to be
and happy
at the same time.

          Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.
          At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

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