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Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
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Other Words for Home (original 2019; edition 2021)

by Jasmine Warga (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5383835,371 (4.47)6
Newbery Honor Book! A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed. Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven't quite prepared her for starting school in the US--and her new label of "Middle Eastern," an identity she's never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises--there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is. This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, most importantly, finding yourself.… (more)
Member:DidnaPaz
Title:Other Words for Home
Authors:Jasmine Warga (Author)
Info:Balzer Bray (2021), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga (2019)

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
- Author: Jasmine Warga
- Publisher: HarperCollins
- Date: May 28, 2019 (date published), January 12, 2022 (date read)
- Pages: 396
- Type of Book Format/ Literary Genre: Novel, Poetic, Fiction
- Short Summary of the Main Plot: This novel is a story about a character named Jude and her family. In the beginning they are living in a Syrian city, where tourism is key; her father owns a store that caters to the tourists. Unfortunately, stories of violence lead to the conclusion that Jude and her Mama need to move to the United States, thankfully they have family in Cincinnati, Ohio. At school, she finds it hard to adjust, but ends up making friends over time like Miles. Jude auditions for a part in Beauty and the Beast, all the while there is an attack in an American city, and judgments are cast on to Jude and Layla’s family. Later, Jude’s brother Amal is born, she gets word from her best friend Fatima and her brother Issa easing her worry. Then, she steps onto the stage for her Beauty and the Beast performance, marking a new chapter in her life.
- Tags/Subject Headings that Describe the Content: Bravery, Judgement, Immigration, Coming of age, grit.
- My Response: I thought that this was a beautiful story, I see myself re-reading it in the future since I enjoyed it so much. It made me think of my family immigrating here, and the struggles they must have gone through.
  MayaBust | Jan 20, 2022 |
This book brings out many feelings and questions that were luckily answered as the story progressed. The first word I thought of when finishing the novel was, strong. How strong the main character had to be when enduring all the changes that took place in such a short period of time. To have your whole world turned upside down at a moments notice. To have to quickly adapt to a whole new system that you are some what familiar with but at the same time aren't.
Many commentary shared with characters opened my mind of how I was closed off to what some people actually go through and how what has affected them has never once happened to myself. To be presented certain views and being to see a new perspective of a situation was so refreshing and well needed. ( )
  DidnaPaz | Jan 14, 2022 |
This book follows Jude who leaves her father and brother in Syria to go to America with her pregnant mother. It follows the hardships she faces and the challenges of speaking a whole new language with no friends around to support. This story is truly a sad story but also a story of facing adversity and becoming stronger because of it. I love this story because it truly speaks volumes of what people who immigrate go through and how we, as a society, treat people who are different. ( )
  lovelydignity | Jan 13, 2022 |
Novel in Verse
2019

What can I say about Other Words for Home? This is a middle grade - intermediate Juvenile Fiction book. There are no pictures throughout the story and the vocabulary is pretty advanced. There is also a glossary of Arabic words in the back to help the reader understand the Arabic sprinkled throughout the story. It really makes you go through all the emotions with Jude. This is such an important read with the talk of immigrants and refugees right now. Warga really brings home the struggle of what it means to live in a war-torn country and have to make hard decisions for your family in order to keep them safe.

This is a story of Jude, a young girl who live in Syria. There is an uprising going on in her country - but also in her own family. Her older brother, Issa, wants to be part of the revolution that brings down the current regime. Her Baba, is afraid that if changes take place it will not be for the better. They both try to get Jude to see their side of things. She is torn between what her brother believes in and what her Baba is concerned about. She wants to find a middle ground between the two, but it is so difficult and she is so young. She loves them both, she wishes they could both try to understand the other.

When Jude visits Issa at his new apartment, it is raided by police. Soon after, her family makes the decision to send her and her mother to the United States to visit her uncle, effectively leaving behind her brother and father. Jude must navigate a cousin who doesn't seem interested in getting to know her, a new school, the possibility of staying in America forever, plus all the changes of being on the precipice of becoming a teenager.


The story is told in verse - which I'm quickly finding to be one of my favorite new ways to read. For readers, it's a new way to be introduced to poetry. While children and teens might not pick up a book of poetry on their own - a novel in verse can be an introduction into poetry - while still telling a story. As well, the chapters are often kept a little shorter with novels in verse - so there is a sense of accomplishment when you can finish that 300 page book rather quickly. It could build confidence in trying those longer, more advanced reads.

I am a sucker for a diverse book. Granted, just because a book has diverse characters, does not mean that it will automatically be good, but I gravitate towards those books where the characters do not look or act like me. I strive to understand the world around me. I want to recommend good diverse reads - not only to those patrons/students who the book represents. But also to those kids who DO look like me - that are wanting and needing to know what the world outside their door is like. In this instance, Syria is a country and Aleppo a city - that has been in the news fairly recently. To hear an account told from the point of view of a child their age - and what they go through - would hopefully garner understanding and ultimately - empathy. ( )
  bookdrunkard78 | Jan 6, 2022 |
This book is about is a young girl named Jude. Jude is forced to leave her home in Syria and move to the United States, when things in her town get rough due to war. This book describes what Jude went through moving to a new country and being labeled as different. I think this book would be a great book to have in my classroom library because of cultural representation. This book is also good as a read aloud in an ELAR classroom because of the way the book is written, which is novel verse. ( )
  Roxana_Guerra | Nov 19, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jasmine Wargaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stempel-Lobell, JennaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Syed, AnooshaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This one's for the Nazeks,
especially my father, who crossed an ocean,
my uncle Abdalla, who loved me from across one,
and my cousin Jude, whose name I borrowed.
First words
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
instead.
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Newbery Honor Book! A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed. Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven't quite prepared her for starting school in the US--and her new label of "Middle Eastern," an identity she's never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises--there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is. This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, most importantly, finding yourself.

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