Product ID: 74040 $25.95
Available 2021/05/18 Algonquin Books
5.5 X 8.3 in 352 pg
YOUNG ADULT FICTION / War & Military YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Historical / General YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
In this dual-narrative tale, a teenage American army private and an Afghan boy living under the horrors of the Taliban, caught on separate sides of the world during the tumultuous times leading up to and following 9/11, come to discover how much more they have in common than they ever could have imagined.
“Through Baheer, readers ages 12 and older will gain some understanding of life under the Taliban; of the concussive shock of 9/11 as felt in Central Asia; of Afghans’ varied responses to the American invasion; and most of all the transformative promise of schooling. Through Joe, an aspiring journalist, readers experience not only the throb of post-9/11 patriotism but also the tedium, camaraderie and sudden terrors of soldiery in a war zone.” —The Wall Street Journal
“This thoughtful portrait of friendship and the human side of war, based on the authors’ true story, proves engrossing.” —Publishers Weekly
“A touching tale of understanding and friendship . . . The message of education as a vehicle for progress and dismantling hatred is one that will strike a chord with readers.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A story of friendship, hardship, acceptance, and courage.” — Library Journal, starred review
"Writing in alternating points of view, the co-authors draw on their real-life friendship (further explored in appended authors’ notes) to tell a touching story about differences and finding common ground . . . The story effectively focuses on those most affected by violent conflict and the characters’ shift in perspective from prejudice to openness. Joe’s reading of war literature leads him to realize the common hardships people face in a war zone, while Baheer’s engagement with Persian classics, Afghan poetry, and Quranic verses help him understand the humanity of all people. Through their individual reflections, they come to understand that education is the key to rebuilding a society, and they work together toward this goal." —Horn Book Magazine
“The engaging story moves back and forth between Joe and Baheer, offering readers an intimate look at the Afghan people and their lives in a country perpetually at war. Coauthors Reedy and Arash are especially good at character development and setting. This book, with its dual perspectives, will be especially good for classroom use and discussion.” — Booklist
Trent Reedy served as a combat engineer in the Iowa Army National Guard from 1999 to 2005, including a year’s tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he befriended Jawad Arash. Based upon his experiences there, he wrote his debut middle-grade novel, Words in the Dust, which won the Christopher Medal and was chosen for Al Roker’s Book Club for Kids on the Today show. His novels Stealing Air, If You’re Reading This, and the Divided We Fall trilogy were Junior Library Guild selections. His seventh novel, Gamer Army, was published in late 2018. Trent also writes a weekly military life column for the Washington Examiner. He lives with his family outside Spokane, Washington.
Jawad Arash's home country of Afghanistan has been at war throughout his entire life. Nevertheless, Jawad remained optimistic for his future. Despite challenges imposed by war, he developed a love for learning and wanted to help build a new and better Afghanistan. Enduring Freedom is his debut novel.