This #ownvoices novel by bestselling author Nadia Hashimi tells the affecting story of an Afghan-American boy who believes his mother has been deported. For fans of Inside Out and Back Again and Counting by 7s.
Jason has just learned that his Afghan mother has been living illegally in the United States since his father was killed in Afghanistan. Although Jason was born in the US, it’s hard to feel American now when he’s terrified that his mother will be discovered—and that they will be separated.
When he sees his mother being escorted from her workplace by two officers, Jason feels completely alone. He boards a train with the hope of finding his aunt in New York City, but as soon as he arrives in Penn Station, the bustling city makes him wonder if he’s overestimated what he can do.
After an accident lands him in the hospital, Jason finds an unlikely ally in a fellow patient. Max, a whip-smart girl who wants nothing more than to explore the world on her own terms, joins Jason in planning a daring escape out of the hospital and into the skyscraper jungle—even though they both know that no matter how big New York City is, they won’t be able to run forever.
Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC by Harper Collins India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
This beautiful tale about two kids who have no choice but to be fearless in wake of circumstances that hit their lives.
“Do you know why people look to the sky when they pray, Shah – jan? Do you know why we hang flags to so far above our heads? Because we want to touch the sky, the sky that turns blue to purple to pink and orange. You can find all colors in the sky. The sun, the moon, the stars, and the clouds – it has room for them all. That’s why I love this country, my king. It is like the sky at our feet.”
Based on the blurb (and the subject matter) I expected the book to have a more than heavy angst heavy matter; but what I received was a perfect amalgamation of a heart – wrenching tale of a young Afghan – American boy whose world and identity takes a hot and turns upside down when he is confronted with the truth that his mother is staying in the country illegally.
When he witnesses his mother taken away from her place of work by two men in suits; his worst fears are realised; he embarks on a journey to reach his Auntie Seema, the one familiar face he knows and believes would help his mom out from this predicament.
“Every breath I take will be to move the mountain between us.”
Joining him is Max; the girl he meets in the hospital from when he is admitted to the hospital after he blacks out at the station – a fellow inmate who feels she is being smothered (read: protected) by her parents and wants to have an adventure before a major life changing surgery!
This was the perfect read – exhilarating in ways that not only touches your heart; but also worms its way into your soul. The writing style of the author is what makes the foundation of the story – she does a brilliant job of capturing the voice of a 12 year old boy; his thoughts, feelings, anxiety and his fears of a boy whose world has turned upside down in a matter of hours!
Nadia Hashimi is an author to watch out for and one that I will definitely read more from in the future!
“My mother and I have something in common now. For both of us, home became a place that hurt us, that took away the person we love most.”
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .5