- Age Range: 12 - 17 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 9
- Series: Aladdin
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Disney Press (April 2, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1368031706
- ISBN-13: 978-1368031707
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Aladdin: Far From Agrabah Hardcover – April 2, 2019
"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb
"This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book." ―Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post Learn more
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About the Author
Aisha Saeed is the author of WRITTEN IN THE STARS (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015) which was listed as a best book of 2015 by Bank Street Books, a 2016 YALSA Quick Pick For Reluctant Readers, and named one of the top ten books all Young Georgians Should Read in 2016. She is also the author of the middle grade novel AMAL UNBOUND (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018) which has received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus and is a Global Read Aloud for 2018. She also has a forthcoming picture book BILAL COOKS DAAL (Simon & Schuster/Salaam Reads, 2019). Aisha is also a founding member of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books?. She has been featured on MTV, the Huffington Post, NBC, and the BBC, and her writings have appeared in publications including the journal ALAN and the Orlando Sentinel.
Aisha is represented by Taylor Martindale at Full Circle Literary Agency and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and three sons.
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It's a short story based off of when Aladdin and Jasmine go on their iconic magic carpet ride together. They do refer to some earlier events from the film, but they give enough information so that you're not completely lost as to how they got to this point (and they make a few references to events that I *believe* is exclusive to the live action version but I won't be able confirm that until I see the actual film).
Overall I really liked it! I could almost see this being a spin-off in its own way, and it doesn't do anything to contradict the original story as far as I could tell. I almost wish we could somehow see this story told in another visual medium. But if you're interested in other stories within the Aladdin universe (especially if you have younger kids also interested in Aladdin), you really can't go wrong!
In the original animated movie, we don’t really get to know Jasmine very well. We learned about her desire to marry for love and her frustration at being kept apart from her kingdom. But in this book, we get to know her much more deeply. She dreams of things much bigger than marriage. She wants to lead her people. Jasmine wants to make a difference in their lives. She has ideas she wants to try if only someone would give her a chance.
Aladdin treats her as his equal, and never acts as though this is noteworthy. He wants to impress her with his wealth and prestige, but clearly considers her thoughtful and worthy of his respect. They make a great team, and the story really captures that partnership dynamic to their relationship.
Interspersed through the story are snippets from a history that Jasmine studies about great leaders. I liked how the story tied the lessons from history into the present through the moral lessons the leaders learned. It wasn’t preachy at all, but made the book seem like so much more than a fairy tale.
Aladdin fans, especially fans of Princess Jasmine, won’t want to miss this deeper look into the fabulous magic carpet ride that took Jasmine and her prince into a whole new world.
The first thing I noticed when I read Far From Agrabah was there were fairy tales spread throughout the book. They are children stories from Agrabah kind of like Tales of Beedle the Bard for Harry Potter. They were interesting but it took a while to see why they were relevant to the story. My favorite one was about Zayn the Tenth that had a Beauty and the Beast type of beginning.
Jasmine and Aladdin felt like authentic characters in a magical setting. I could see the double meanings behind what Aladdin would say sometimes. Like when he comments that he should get one of those books. As a prince, it sounds conceited but as a poor boy it sounds wistful. Aladdin gives humble advice to help others and asks for Jasmine’s input. She’s flattered and surprised that someone sees her for her wisdom and not just her status. I could see why Jasmine starts to like him. And when his prince disguise comes off as strange she decides to think kindly of him anyway. In fact, Jasmine said my favorite quote in the whole book.
“Be careful not to judge others simply because their worldview is different from your own. Others have not lived your life, just as you have not lived theirs.”
-Aisha Saeed, Far From Agrabah pg 98
When Jasmine starts to realize who Aladdin really is, she has already seen his good heart on their adventure together and she decides to trust that he has a good reason for not being up front with who he really is.
Aladdin decides on their adventure to act with integrity even though he doesn’t have to. But that’s what’s great about reading books. You get to see the motivations and thoughts of the characters and this book did a great job with both Jasmine and Aladdin. I got to know them in ways that it’s hard to do in a movie.
And the end is when I saw the connection to the fairy tale. The sultan in the last fairy tale acts like Aladdin did. He shows integrity when he doesn’t need to.
This book added such depth to their romance and to the characters that I’m so excited to see the new Aladdin movie now!