A powerful novel of enduring friendship set amid the terror and chaos of present-day Afghanistan.Best friends Tamanna and Yasmine cannot believe their good fortune when a school is set up in their Afghan village; however, their dreams for the future are shattered when the Taliban burns down the school and threatens the teacher and students with death.As Tamanna faces an arranged marriage to an older man and the Taliban targets Yasmine’s western-educated family, the girls realize they must flee. Traveling through the heart of Taliban territory, the two unaccompanied young women find themselves in mortal danger. After suffering grave injuries, Tamanna from a fall and Yasmine from a suicide bombing, the girls are left without the one thing that has helped them survive — each other.Reunited years later in England, Tamanna and Yasmine discover that, despite the horrific events of the past, they are both driven to return home by memories of their families and a longing for their country.The book features stunning photographs by award-winning photojournalist Rafal Gerszak (The New York Times, BBC World News) that bring readers an immediate sense of the faces and landscape of Afghanistan.Filled with tension and drama, Thunder Over Kandahar paints a vivid portrait of the perils of contemporary Afghanistan.
- ISBN: 9781554512669
- Authors: Gerszak, Rafal; McKay, Sharon E.
- Published: 2010 , Annick Press
- Themes: Family life, Journey, Poverty, Survival, Terrorism, violence, War
- Descriptors: Afghanistan, Awards, Intermediate (ages 9-14), Realistic Fiction
- No. of pages: 184
One thought on “Thunder Over Kandahar”
British-born 15-year old Yasmine’s adjustment to life in Afghanistan is made slightly easier by her friendship with a village girl, Tammana. The girls’ loyalty and courage help save each other’s life as they encounter dangers from Tammana’s uncle, the Taliban, and the war. They take action to save their family and themselves several times during the story.
The contrast of the girl raised in England and now living in Herot and the girl living in Kandahar Province adds to the drama and emotional involvement of the reader. This book is written in the style and values of Deborah Ellis’ books. The story has interesting secondary characters such as the little boy and his family who help the girls in the mountains. There are vivid descriptions of settings and situations, e.g. Mor working endlessly, the mountains where the girls escaped, the attack of the school by the Taliban, the rickshaw driver’s rage, etc. provides a multifaceted image of Afghanis as well as the UN forces and multiple perspectives regarding the Taliban v. the foreign armies. Yasmine’s Western education may provide an important perspective for young readers that they can relate to. Characters are people with both positive and negative qualities; motives are shown (e.g., Tamanna’s brother, Kabeer; Ariana the mountain fighter) allowing readers to come up with their own conclusions.
This story is typical and timely especially reinforcing the views presented within the publication of the August 9, 2010 TIME Magazine cover story. The status and value of Afghan women and girls is presented as paramount with the dedication of the book to the women of Canadian Support of Afghan Women.