Twelve-year-old Ariana, a tomboy, and her ladylike cousin Laila, recently arrived from Afghanistan, do not get along but they pull together when a rival Afghani grocery store opens, rekindling an old family feud and threatening their family’s livelihood.
As American bombs fall on Baghdad during the Iraq War, ten-year-old cousins Nouri and Talib witness the growing violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.
Josh Stephenson’s thirteenth year starts with a baffling sequence of events, including an odd gift from his estranged father, the arrival of his flirty seventeen-year-old female cousin, locker-room teasing about certain embarrassing anatomical changes, and wondering if dreams of love can ever come true.
Newbery Honor winner Audrey Couloumbis (“Getting Near to Baby”) and her husband, Akila, deliver this gripping novel based on Akila’s boyhood experiences during World War II, after the Germans invaded Greece. What were once just boys’ games soon become matters of life and death for 12-year-old Petros and his older brother, Zola.
A summer in paradise. That’s all Marne wants. That’s all she can think of when she asks her parents permission to spend the summer in Hawaii with Aunt Carole and her family.
But Marne quickly realizes her visit isn’t going to be just about learning to surf and morning runs along the beach, despite the cute surfer boy she keeps bumping into. For one thing, Aunt Carole isn’t even Aunt Carole anymore—she’s Aunt Chaya, married to a Chasidic rabbi and deeply rooted in her religious community. Nothing could be more foreign to Marne, and fitting into this new culture—and house full of kids—is a challenge. But as she settles into her newfound family’s daily routine, she begins to think about spirituality, identity, and finding a place in the world in a way she never has before.
This rich novel is a window into a different life and gets to the very heart of faith, identity, and family ties.