Thursday, September 3, 2020
Review and quotes: OTHER WORDS FOR HOME
Book Beginnings quote:
It is almost summer and everywhere smells like fish,
except for right down by the sea
where if you hold your nose just right
you can smell the sprawling jasmine and the salt water
When I say good-bye to Baba,
he hugs me tight,
his arms saying everything that his lips don't.
Summary: Jude. a thirteen-year-old teenager, and her pregnant mother leave behind their beloved Syria, her brother, and Baba (father) to move to America and away from the war that is raging nearer and nearer their city.. In America Jude is viewed as Middle Eastern, a term she'd near heard before. Will she ever find any friends like those she had to leave behind? Will she be able to speak English well enough to try out for a part in the school play? "This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, more important, finding yourself."
Review: This 2019 Newbery honor book is a perfect conversation starter for a middle school or young YA reader. Through Jude the reader will find a sweet and unpushy character who is trying to do her best to fit in, despite the language and cultural differences. At one point in the story she has a conversation with a kind, but nerdy/misfit boy who points out that being different is a good thing.
The book is written in verse, as you see from the quotes above. I found the poetry to be average, which always makes me wonder why the author didn't just write the story in prose, unless the poetry is exceptional. Other than that I enjoyed this story and felt my heart open up just a little bit more to immigrants who are being treated so unkindly these days by our government. It was a timely read.