Friday, August 13, 2010
Shooting Kabul, by N.H. Senzai
As Americans (reptile or human), it is hard for most of us to identify with having to flee everything we have known in the middle of the night, escaping to a foreign country to begin a completely new life - yet it happens every day. A difficult enough situation, but imagine if, in the last minute chaos of the flight, a child in your family was left behind?
Two themes people (and turtles) anywhere can identify with are loss and hope. How can life possibly continue after such a devastating loss? And yet it does. How long should you hold on to hope before accepting that something isn't going to happen?
Shooting Kabul puts its readers through an emotional wringer, yet we would say it is still suitable for middle schoolers. In fact, we would recommend it as a daily read-aloud for middle or high school classes (something that isn't done nearly as much as it should be at those grade levels). It is timely in its reference to current events, but also timeless in its underlying themes of guilt, family relationships, struggling to make something happen, making use of your talents, and so on.
So much happens in this very powerful first novel! We give it an exhausted
5 out of 5