Fadi's father was educated in the U.S., but returned to Afghanistan to help create better living conditions for its citizens. When the Taliban becomes more rigid, Fadi's family decides to flee to the U.S. for safety. On the night of their escape, Fadi's young sister is separated from the family, and Fadi feels responsible.
The rest of the family goes to the U.S., doing everything they can to search for Fadi's sister. Fadi joins the photography club at his middle school, and is planning a way to find his sister when the U.S. is attacked on September 11, 2001. Now Fadi faces suspicion and accusations from bullies who think he is a terrorist.
This book is a useful vehicle to open discussions about stereotypes. The book gives Western readers a direct look at life in the U.S. through Fadi's eyes. Although Fadi's guilt and unwillingness to talk about his sister are realistic, some readers may find that this slows the pace of the story, since every part of his life is overshadowed by her absence. The pacing picks up when Fadi begins school and confronts unjust treatment there, on top of what he's already been through. The author offers an interesting treatment of Fadi's family relationships, and photographers will relate to Fadi's struggles to create the perfect shot.
"Great photos say something about life; they tell a story."
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