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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: Shooting Kabul (Senzai)

Title: Shooting Kabul
Author: Senzai
Genre: Fiction, Immigrants, Photography, Middle School, Afghanistan
Pages: 262
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

In 2001, before 9/11, Fadi and his family are running through the night in order to flee Afghanistan.  If only they can make it across the border to Pakistan, they can escape to freedom in America.  Unfortunately, in the craziness of the escape, being chased by the Taliban, Fadi's little sister is lost.  And the family cannot stop to look for her or they will all be killed. 

When Fadi and his family arrive in America, they find a home with his uncle and try to get on with their lives.  But no one stops thinking about little Mariam.  Even though everything is being done by US authorities and private investigators to locate her, it has been months and there little information to be discovered. 

Fadi joins a photography club at school where he meets new friends, tries to fit in, and also decides to enter a National Geographic photo contest where he could win a trip somewhere in the world.  He is determined to take the perfect picture because he must win the contest in order to find his sister.

I really enjoyed this book and read it in one afternoon.  I was drawn to and became invested in Fadi's story.  I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a child, especially in this terrible way.  I had to know what happened to this family, the sister, and Fadi's photography goals.  This is a terrific story about a family in a very real situation.  In trying to make their life better by escaping an oppressive government, their life actually became worse.  A survival story at its most basic and a terrific read, especially for 5th-8th grades.

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