It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

Firoozeh Dumas. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-544-61231-0
Dumas (Funny in Farsi) sets her first middle grade novel in the late 1970s and early 1980s, focusing on the Iranian Revolution and the 444 days American hostages were held in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Born in Iran, Zomorod Yousefzadeh rechristens herself Cindy when her family moves from Compton, Calif., to Newport Beach. She struggles with the usual new-girl problems, but hers are compounded by being an immigrant from a country unfamiliar to most Americans. Zomorod’s situation takes on fear and tension when the Iranian Revolution breaks out; she and her family struggle with anxiety over friends and relatives at home, as well as their own precarious future in America after her engineer father loses his job for political reasons. Conversations often turn into history and culture lessons, though they evolve naturally within the plot and deliver information that remains relevant today. Filled with humorous touches and authentic cultural references, Dumas’s story will resonate not just with young immigrants but with any readers trying to adapt to new situations. Ages 10–12. Agent: Mel Berger, William Morris Endeavor. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 05/03/2016
Genre: Children's
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-1892-1
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-544-61237-2
Prebound-Glued - 384 pages - 978-0-606-40139-5
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-1-328-74096-0
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