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Kiss the dust by Elizabeth Laird
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Kiss the dust (original 1991; edition 1991)

by Elizabeth Laird

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151479,164 (3.5)2
Member:HelenGress
Title:Kiss the dust
Authors:Elizabeth Laird
Info:London : Mammoth, 1991.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Kurds, refugees, civil war

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Kiss the Dust by Elizabeth Laird (1991)

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This book brings a personal perspective on what life is like in war torn Iraq. This recent-history novel follows a young Kurdish girl who was once carefree living in her mountain town as she and her family flee from the stringent rules and fierce fighting of the militant Muslim regime. I found the culture fascinating and Tara's life in the refugee camp is heart wrenching. ( )
  librarianrae | Jul 30, 2010 |
A story about the plight of people in Kurdistan - experiences and processes confronting political refugees. Tara's father is involved with the Kurdish Resistance Movement and her life in Iraq becomes increasingly difficult as a result. The family is forced to flee into the mountains and across into Iran. Tara, used to wealth, has to learn to cope in a refugee camp and adopt the ways of another culture before the family can finally claim refugee status in England. ( )
  Rhondda | Sep 25, 2008 |
I've read two other books by this author; The Garbage King and A Little Piece of Ground. I like her writing. However, I did find that this one was slow to get going, and I fear that your typical adolescent reader would give up on the story before it got to the interesting part. Tara is Kurdish, and living in Iraq when her father, who is a resistance fighter, decides that they must flee the country, travel over the mountains and into Iran. Once in Iran, life is not much better, and Laird's description of Tara's life in the holding camp reminded me of several holocaust novels. Her mother is very ill with pneumonia, and isn't able to help clean the bug infested room in which they stay. Her mother is also unable to help make meals with the meagre rations they are given. Tara is forced to grow up almost instantly, for if she doesn't step up and assume responsibility, her mom might die, and her family will suffer. The exciting parts of the book occurred when they were traveling through the mountains and when they were trying to survive in the refugee camps. Eventually, some Kurdish connections enable them to fly to London, and find lodging there. Laird does an excellent job of describing what it might feel like to be a refugee; the confusion, the desperation, the fatigue, the anger, the frustration... the reader experiences it all through Tara's eyes. I would only recommend this book to a strong adolescent reader who was interested in knowing what a refugee might have felt like. Readers who liked Diary of Ann Frank might enjoy this novel. ( )
  JRlibrary | Jul 1, 2008 |
Re Tara, a 14-year-old girl in Suleimaniya, who gets an overnight lesson in what it means to be a Kurd. First she and her friend see Iraqi soldiers gun down innocent Kurdish boys, then her uncle -- a pesh murga freedom fighter -- shows up wounded and on the run. Then her father is wanted by the Iraqi secret police so the family escapes to a mountain village, but that is bombed and becomes too dangerous, so they escape over the mountains into Iraq to take their chance there as refugees. A cousin living in Teheran then helps them to fly out to England where they seek asylum. There life does start over, though it's a struggle, as the final chapter summarizes three years there.

The majority of the book is the journey/experiences up to landing at Heathrow. The preface gives a summary of the Kurds' history and places this story before the 1990 Gulf War -- during the Iran/Iraq war at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s. ( )
  UWC_PYP | Mar 18, 2007 |
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Her father's involvement with the Kurdish resistance movement in Iraq forces thirteen-year-old Tara to flee with her family over the border into Iran, where they face an unknown future. [Library of Congress summary]. Elizabeth Laird drew on personal accounts by close Kurdish friends to plot the story of Tara and her family [jacket notes]. The story takes places in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.
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Her father's involvement with the Kurdish resistance movement in Iraq forces thirteen-year-old Tara to flee with her family over the border into Iran, where they face an unknown future.

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