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Shooting Kabul by N. H. Senzai

Shooting Kabul

by N. H. Senzai

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4293637,122 (4.06)4

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This book fills a niche in children's books on the middle east conflict. There are few books on this topic. Fadi's family lives in Afghanistan during the turbulent time following the Soviet invasion. The Taliban has come to power. Though people initially supported the Taliban for helping them overcome the war, The Taliban has turned fanatical. They are imposing rules on the people that violate basic human rights. Fadi's dad decides it's time to flee. While escaping, chaos breaks out, and he accidentally lets go of his younger sister's hand. The truck leaves without her and refuses to stop. Her family has lost a child.

Fadi's family continues on and receives asylum in America. They eventually eek out a merger existence, his father as a taxi driver, despite having a phD. US officials continue to search for Miriam while Fadi enrolls in the middle school. Throughout the story, Fadi is haunted by the role he played in losing his sister. Midway through the book 9/11 happens. Fadi faces bullying at school for being Muslim, but he refuses to give up the names of the bullies. He has one focus, to win the photography contest and its prize, a trip to India. If he could just get close enough, he could find his sister himself.

Although the book was insightful about a conflict that few children have knowledge, and is therefore an important book, it didn't capture me the way I hoped it would. The writing is fairly basic. It neither grabs the reader, nor inspires the reader to become emotionally invested. I always hope a book is going to grab me, especially when you have emotional material, like a child lost half-way around the world. I didn't feel the devastation. Still a book worth reading. ( )
  valorrmac | May 15, 2018 |
war, immigration
  Clippers | Dec 21, 2017 |
Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in 2001, eleven year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistan refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind.
  Lake_Oswego_UCC | Aug 6, 2017 |
At first I wasn't too sure I was going to like this, but once the initial faltering sequence (presented in a series of flashbacks interspersed between current action) was completed, it kind of grew on me. I ended up really caring about the characters and was pleased with how the final resolution was kept at bay right up until just before the very end on the last few pages. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
This is a great chapter book for discussing worldwide issues, like racism, the Taliban, why did 9/11 happen, etc. The artistic element of photography plays a big role in the book and can draw in the more creative students. It is written in a friendlier style as we are inside Fadi's head, so even though it deals with heavier topics I think it would be alright for 3-8 grade.
  sbutler9 | Dec 3, 2014 |
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It's a perfect night to run away, thought Fadi, casting a brooding look at the bright sheen of the moon through the cracked backseat window. It reminded him of the first line of the book Fron the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. "Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away."
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In the summer of 2001, twelve year old Fadi's parents make the difficult decision to illegally leave Afghanistan and move the family to the United States. When their underground transport arrives at the rendezvous point, chaos ensues, and Fadi is left dragging his younger sister Mariam through the crush of people. But Mariam accidentally lets go of his hand and becomes lost in the crowd, just as Fadi is snatched up into the truck. With Taliban soldiers closing in, the truck speeds away, leaving Mariam behind.

Adjusting to life in the United States isn't easy for Fadi's family and as the events of September 11th unfold the prospects of locating Mariam in a war torn Afghanistan seem slim. When a photography competition with a grand prize trip to India is announced, Fadi sees his chance to return to Afghanistan and find his sister. But can one photo really bring Mariam home?

Based in part on the Ms. Senzai's husband's own experience fleeing his home in Soviet controlled Afghanistan in the 1970s, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance.
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Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind.… (more)

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