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Annotation: For fans of Other Words for Home and Front Desk, this powerful, charming own voices immigration story follows a girl who... more
Catalog Number: #306451
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 352
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-304470-6 Perma-Bound: 0-8000-0676-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-304470-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-8000-0676-1
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Exploring the complex process of finding oneself and finding home after feeling untethered in a new country, Faruqi's Unsettled follows Nurah as she and her family move from Pakistan to America, where her father has gotten a new job that he insists will afford them a better life. Better seems incredibly elusive to Nurah, however, who keenly feels the loss of her friends and grandparents, of her language and culture. Though her age is never specified, Nurah and her older brother, Owais, appear to be in middle school, and it's only when Stahr, a girl in Nurah's grade, says the magic words, "Do you want to eat lunch with me?," that hope cracks Nurah's shell of sadness. Making a friend and joining a swim team are turning points for Nurah, as they establish some normalcy to her new life in Georgia, along with her Muslim faith. Spare verses and the simple motif of a seed sprouting and laying down roots make this story accessible to younger readers, who will easily identify or empathize with Nurah as she navigates the tricky art of fitting in while being true to herself.
School Library Journal
Gr 46 At home in Karachi, Pakistan, Nurah Haqq enjoys a life surrounded by family, friends, and visits to the ocean. A perfect day at the beach becomes the worst day when Nurah's father announces that he has accepted a job offer in America. Her immediate familyfather, mother, and older brother Owaiswill soon relocate to the United States. Uprooted, the family settles in Peachtree City, GA, where Nurah discovers a nation of unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells, and strange pronunciations. The challenges they face in America, including Nurah's complicity in an attack on her brother, will force the girlwhose name means "light"to face her own weaknesses, reconnect with the light within, and blossom into someone she is proud of. Told in verse in short chapters and divided into nine sections which are illustrated with floral mehndi patterns, this is an insightful and moving narrative that tackles a wide range of salient topics, including ableism, bullying, assimilation, colorism, racial profiling, friendship, miscarriage, and domestic abuse. The brevity of some verses allows the engrossing narrative to move quickly, but also leaves some topics feeling underexamined. Farqui beautifully weaves Urdu and Arabic terms, and Islamic concepts throughout the text, crafting an unapologetic and authentic look at what it means to grow up Pakistani and Muslim in America. Back matter, which includes a glossary of Arabic and Urdu terms, author's note, and recipe for aloo kabab, offers additional context and opportunities for understanding and engagement. VERDICT A thought-provoking and engaging coming-of-age story recommended for libraries of all types; will particularly appeal to fans of Jasmine Warga's Other Words for Home , Kelly Yang's Front Desk , and Hena Khan's Amina's Voice . Mahasin A. Aleem, Oakland P.L., CA
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A Pakistani girl’s life is uprooted when her family immigrates to the United States, where she struggles to fit in and remain true to herself.Nurah is a 13-year-old girl living happily in Pakistan: She loves hanging out with her family and her best friend, but her favorite thing to do is swim. Everything changes when Nurah learns her father has accepted a job in America. While missing Karachi, they try to adjust to their new surroundings in Georgia, but learning to speak, dress, and act differently takes its toll on the family. Nurah and her older brother, Owais, find some happiness at the community pool. Although Nurah makes a friend in fellow swimmer Stahr, she becomes jealous of Owais, who has been more easily able to fit in and win swim meets. When a tragic incident befalls him—in part due to her jealousy—Nurah learns it’s better to stand up and stand out as who you are than try to conform. Faruqi’s use of free verse will captivate readers with its metaphors that emphasize feelings and details of daily life. Middle schoolers who struggle with fitting in will resonate with the story while also receiving a glimpse into the lives of a Pakistani immigrant family. Qureshi’s floral and paisley spot art and illustrations of hands with henna designs add delicate beauty.Lyrical. Hopeful. Poignant. (family tree, author’s note, glossary, recipe) (Verse novel. 10-13)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (2/1/21)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (2/1/21)
ALA Booklist (3/1/21)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7

For fans of Other Words for Home and Front Desk, this powerful, charming own voices immigration story follows a girl who moves from Karachi, Pakistan to Peachtree City, Georgia, and must find her footing in a new world. Reem Faruqi is the ALA Notable author of award-winning Lailah's Lunchbox. "A lyrical coming of age story exploring family, immigration, and most of all belonging." --Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound "This empowering story will resonate with people who have struggled to both fit in and stay true to themselves." --Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor author of The Night Diary "A gorgeously written story, filled with warmth and depth." --Hena Khan, author of Amina's Voice When her family moves from Pakistan to Peachtree City, all Nurah wants is to blend in, yet she stands out for all the wrong reasons. Nurah's accent, floral-print kurtas, and tea-colored skin make her feel excluded, until she meets Stahr at swimming tryouts. And in the water Nurah doesn't want to blend in. She wants to win medals like her star athlete brother, Owais--who is going through struggles of his own in the U.S. Yet when sibling rivalry gets in the way, she makes a split-second decision of betrayal that changes their fates. Ultimately Nurah slowly gains confidence in the form of strong swimming arms, and also gains the courage to stand up to bullies, fight for what she believes in, and find her place.

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