Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

words in the dustThe newspapers are filled with headlines of places far away.  Afghanistan, especially, has been in the news this year.  We read mainly about the ongoing war there.  Words in the Dust takes us right into the heart of a family living in the Afghan mountains.  We meet thirteen-year-old Zulaikha, who has to help with the daily chores in the family compound.  Her life is complicated by the fact that she was born with a cleft lip.  When an American soldier notices her disfigured face, he is determined to get medical help for her, and Zulaikha’s life is forever changed.  Words in the Dust is a very intimate story of a young girl growing up in a typical Afghan family.  Zulaikha yearns to read.  Since there is no opportunity for her to go to school, she secretly learns the alphabet by tracing the letters and words in the dust. Books are a wonderful way to travel to different parts of the world.  Here is an exciting book about a very different land and culture. Words in the Dust will quickly draw you in, and you won’t be able to put it down until the last page is turned.  Review by Trudy Walsh

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