Fadi never imagined he’d start middle school in Fremont, California, thousands of miles from home in Kabul—and half a world away from his missing six-year-old sister, Mariam.
Adjusting to life in the United States isn’t easy for Fadi’s family, and as the events of September 11 unfold, the prospects of locating Mariam in war-torn Afghanistan seem slim. When a photography competition with a grand prize of a 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 Ms. Senzai’s husband’s own experience fleeing Soviet-controlled Afghanistan in 1979, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance.
This hard-hitting, emotionally nuanced first novel views the experiences of a family of Afghan refugees through the lens of 11-year-old Fadi. Fadi's U.S. educated parents repatriated to Afghanistan, only to have the Taliban impose order, ending his mother's career, necessitating homeschooling for the children, and creating a dangerous, oppressive environment. When his mother's health finally forces the family to leave, Senzai portrays the high cost of escape as not just economic ($20,000, "the family's entire savings") but human, through the shattering loss of Fadi's six-year-old sister, who hesitates to grab a precious Barbie and is left behind. "Fadi looked from the edge of truck's railing in disbelief. His six-year-old sister had been lost because of him." Senzai skillfully focuses Fadi's guilt against the backdrop of this grief and his adjustments to life in Fremont, California's Little Kabul (during 9/11); as Fadi discovers a photography club and contest that might earn him tickets to India, he fantasizes about rescuing his sister. Though cultural, religious, and political pressures persist, the satisfying surprise ending offers the family hope and redemption. Ages 8 12.
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this book was very emotional and descriptive!! love it!
This was a great book. Emotional and astonishing too. I recommend it to all ages.