Other Words for Home
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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About the AuthorJasmine Warga grew up outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. Before becoming a full-time writer, she briefly worked as a science teacher.
"Other Words for Home is a gorgeously written middle grade novel with words that soar off the page. Told in stunning verse and featuring an effortlessly lovable narrator, this book will be a staple of middle grade shelves for years to come."--Rachel Strolle, Teen Librarian, Glenside Public Library
[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)
"Warga situates her verse novel at a sweet spot for middle-graders...the complications of assessing whether Jude is as lucky as everyone makes her out to be ring poignantly true, and when Jude takes her place on the school stage, Warga's audience will surely applaud."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“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)
“This is a necessary story. We're lucky to have it in the world.”--Jason Reynolds, award-winning, bestselling author of Ghost and Long Way Down