One of our recommended books is Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

OTHER WORDS FOR HOME


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,”

more …

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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  • Balzer + Bray
  • Paperback
  • May 2019
  • 352 Pages
  • 9780062747808

Buy the Book

$16.99

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About Jasmine Warga

Jasmine Warga is the author of Other Words for Home, credit Ashley SilliesJasmine Warga‘s debut middle grade book, Other Words for Home, is a Newbery Honor Book. She is the author of the novels for teens My Heart and Other Black Holes, which has been translated into over twenty languages, and Here We Are Now. She lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Praise

“[In] this timely book… rhythmic lines distill Jude’s deepest emotions…. Warga effectively shows, as she writes in an author’s note, that “children who are fleeing from a war zone… want the same things all of us do—love, understanding, safety, a chance at happiness.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Warga portrays with extraordinary talent the transformation of a family’s life before and after the war began in Syria.… Her free-verse narration cuts straight to the bone… [and] confront[s] the difficult realities of being Muslim and Arab in the U.S. Poetic, immersive, hopeful.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Warga’s middle-grade debut puts its hands around your heart and holds it, ever so gently, so that you’re aware of your own fragility and resilience: just as Jude is while her life changes drastically… Other Words for Home should find its way into every middle-grade reader’s hands.” – ALA Booklist (starred review)

“This powerful middle grade novel explores the complicated concepts of war and corruption, home, family, [and] belonging…. Highly recommended for all libraries, this title will easily find a home next to books like Refugee by Alan Gratz and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai.” – School Library Journal (starred review)

“Convincing and authentic, infused with thoughtfulness, humor, determination, and hope…. A realistic portrait of the strength it takes to move to a new country, as well as of the complicated dynamics between first- and second-generation immigrants.” – Horn Book (starred review)

Excerpt

Part One

Changing

 

I.

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.

In the summer, I always hold my nose to avoid

the stench of fish and

tourists that smell like hairspray

and money and French perfume.

The tourists come from Damascus and Aleppo.

Sometimes even Beirut and Amman.

Once I met a man all the way from Doha.

I asked him about the big skyscrapers that I have heard

reach all the way up to the heavens,

but Baba hushed me quiet before the man could answer me.

Baba does not like for me to talk to

Tourists

Strangers

Men.

He does not want me to talk to anyone that I do not know

and even people that I do know he always says,

Jude, skety,

and so I bite my tongue and it sometimes tastes even worse

than the way the summer fish smell.

Everyone is saying that there will be fewer visitors

from Aleppo this year.

That there is no one left in Aleppo to come.

That everyone who could leave Aleppo already has.

When I ask Mama if this is true, she says,

Jude, skety.