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Dawn and Dusk by Alice Mead
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Dawn and Dusk

by Alice Mead

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Reviewed by Mark Frye, author and reviewer for TeensReadToo.com

DAWN AND DUSK by Alice Mead is a compelling work of fiction that is a timely read for youth of the 21st Century.

Azad is a pre-teen, Kurdish boy living in Iran along the Iraq border in the late '80's during the Iran-Iraq war. To make the lives of his people even more trying, the Kurds are despised in their own country as well as Iraq. This sad fact of life inspires many to join a resistance movement against the Ayatollah's regime, putting their lives in danger. When Azad's town is bombed with Iraqi chemical weapons, he retreats to his mother's home in the mountains of Kurdistan.

The heart of this story - in spite of its foreign setting - is one of universal concerns for young people. Azad's parents are divorced and he has mixed feelings for both his mom and dad. Who is to blame for his broken home?

He feels abandoned by his mom, who moved far away after the divorce, but he wonders if the rumors are true about his father. Is he really an informer for the Iranian secret police? Did his mother leave because she is a member of the resistance? His struggles with his family situation combine with his feelings of alienation as a Kurd. Many young people will identify with Azad's concerns.

Although the ending is a bit too tidy for realistic fiction, Mead's resolution keeps DAWN AND DUSK acceptable for its targeted young audience. This novel is extremely well-written and has an authentic sense of place. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 10, 2009 |
uch history is told, but too often at the expense of the story. An excellent introduction provides additional historical perspective, including the culpability of the U.S. for its support of Saddam Hussein. It�s an important story, and any reader, young or old, wishing to know more about Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Sudan and other troubled spots of the modern world would do well to start with Mead�s many informative works. 2007, (Kirkus); ? Most moving is Azad's bleak relationship with his father, a traitor, defeated and drunk. As in her novel Girl of Kosovo (2001), Mead brings home the tragedy of war through the experiences of one young teen (Hazel Rochman)
1 vote | edresang | Apr 7, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374317089, Hardcover)

For as long as thirteen-year-old Azad can remember, the Islamic Republic of Iran, where he lives in the predominantly Kurdish town of Sardasht, has been at war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and his country has been a harsh society full of spies, secrets, and "disappearances." Still, most of the time Azad manages to live a normal life, hanging out at the bakery next door, going to school with his friend Hiwa, playing sports, and taking care of his parrot. Then Azad learns that his town may soon become a target for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Now more than ever, Azad feels torn between his divorced parents and his conflicting desires to remain in his home or escape. His father is somehow connected to the police and is rooted in the town. His mother may be part of the insurgency, yet is ready to flee. How can Azad make the choice?
 
The story of how one boy's world was turned upside down in 1987 Iran is a timely and memorable introduction to the conflicts in the Middle East.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:11 -0400)

As thirteen-year-old Azad tries desperately to cling to the life he has known, the political situation in Iran during the war with Iraq finally forces his family to flee their home and seek safety elsewhere.

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