This #ownvoices novel by bestselling author Nadia Hashimi tells the affecting story of an Afghan-American boy who believes his mother has been deported. For fans of Inside Out and Back Again and Counting by 7s. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.
Jason has just learned that his Afghan mother has been living illegally in the United States since his father was killed in Afghanistan. Although Jason was born in the US, it’s hard to feel American now when he’s terrified that his mother will be discovered—and that they will be separated.
When he sees his mother being escorted from her workplace by two officers, Jason feels completely alone. He boards a train with the hope of finding his aunt in New York City, but as soon as he arrives in Penn Station, the bustling city makes him wonder if he’s overestimated what he can do.
After an accident lands him in the hospital, Jason finds an unlikely ally in a fellow patient. Max, a whip-smart girl who wants nothing more than to explore the world on her own terms, joins Jason in planning a daring escape out of the hospital and into the skyscraper jungle—even though they both know that no matter how big New York City is, they won’t be able to run forever.
About the Author
Nadia Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. In 2002, Nadia made her first trip to Afghanistan with her parents. She is a pediatrician and lives with her family in the Washington, DC, suburbs. She is the author of three books for adults, as well as the middle grade novels One Half from the East and The Sky at Our Feet. Visit her online at www.nadiahashimi.com.
★ “A gripping story about two brave children on the run in the Big Apple... An important book with a well-crafted plot that is sure to linger several days after readers finish it.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Jason’s strong narrative voice illustrates the plight of a family torn apart and what it means to be an American child of an undocumented parent.”
★ “A winsome supporting cast, snappy dialogue, and nonstop adventures just shy of fantastic make this a thought-provoking, heartwarming page-turner.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The story is fast-paced and engaging with sympathetic protagonists who raise thought-provoking contemporary issues. An absorbing read.”
— School Library Journal