- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 25 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: August 23, 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01J4AYB5G
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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It Ain't So Awful, Falafel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
I loved, loved, loved this book, and this author. Highly recommend this laugh-out-funny and moving story of Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh, a girl from Iran who has spent several years, here and there, in America due to her father's engineering job.
The time period is the late 70s, when a lot of people in America were hearing about Iran for the first time due to political strife and the taking of American hostages. I was exactly the same age as Zomorod during the period of time the story takes place. In Catholic School, we would turn toward the window, say the Pledge of Allegiance, and then take turns on who would lead the prayer for the hostages.
Zomorod, like any kid, seeks to fit in, and is embarrassed by her parents. She has the added pressure of good English, but not knowing all the idioms, as well as parents who are different culturally from the other adults. And schoolmates who think she comes from a land of an animal she'd only ever seen in a zoo -- a camel.
I found myself chuckling at several opportunities at Zomorod's observations and wit, and at her mix of love and embarrassment in regard to her parents.
Americans are written as essentially good people, albeit a bit ignorant on world events. The most villainous character is still portrayed with some sympathy. Because the story takes place over a couple years, the younger characters get an opportunity to mature.
In fact, one of the details that impressed me most is how the Zomorod at the beginning of the story and at the end are clearly the same girl, but each version think and behave appropriate to her age. She has gained wisdom and confidence and lasting friendship. (I adored her circle of friends.)
If there is one flaw, it's that the author imparts a lot of info on the Iran, which is both interesting and vital to the story, but the information is often imparted in a less-than-natural fashion. The best method is Zomorod's best friend asking questions out of interests, concern, and her plan to become a journalist. But then there is the neighbor who stops periodically to ask to have events explained to him.
I hope that there will be more books in this series, because I would love to stay in touch.
She and her parents had moved to the US from Iran. Zomorod's father worked for an
oil company, and they had moved from Compton. Zomorod knew enough by thus time
to change her name to Cindy. Not many people were familiar with Iran, and she had a lot
if questions from her schoolmates. She was well liked by I've friend, and Cindy joined the
Girl Scouts, so her socialization was good from the start. However, once the Iranian
Revolution started, things became tense. Some unpleasant things happened at home,
and she and her father tried to hide this from her mother. Cindy's mother did not know any
English, nor was she willing to learn. This placed a lot if responsibility on Cindy and her father.
Zomorod or Cindy was a smart young girl, looking for a new life in a new land. We can see
from her experiences what life as an immigrant might bring, fear, distrust, misunderstanding
and causing all sorts of problems. But, Cindy tried to maintain her humor, and this saw
her through many times. Thus is an excel,eat book for children to look at life from
another perspective, particularly the immigrant experience. We can see how kindness
and openness to new people is such a positive behavior. It sounds like this book may
reflect the author's own experience, and she tells the story amazingly well.
Recommended. prisrob 04-13-16
This story starts out with Dumas' family moving into a new neighborhood. Moving from Compton, CA to Newport Beach is a big move upward. The father speaks good English but the mother still struggles with the language, so Firoozeh, who now calls herself Cindy to better fit in, translates for her mother. Her first new friend is a horse fanatic living next door. She makes more friends in her new school, but this is a much bigger school. Then the Iranian revolution of 1979 happens, buildings in her home town in Iran are burned down, and then the hostage crisis takes over the news, and the narrative. Suddenly the Dumas' life is turned upside down and neighbors turn on them. The father loses his job because he's Iranian and has trouble finding a new job. The family is victim to several cruel pranks.
While this story does end on a happy note, it's clear that the Dumas family is being targeted by ignorant people who do not understand the Dumas family. The Dumas family came to America to escape the suppression of the shah. They are not pious Muslims. They simply want to live in peace and live the American dream of a nice home and good fortune. The hostage crisis changes all that.
Dumas mentions bits of Iranian history in her narrative without being preachy or boring. Iran is not about camels, it's about oil. She mentions the oil industry and how both the UK and the US tried to take that over from Iran and ousted the popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh in the 1950s. And when the hostage crisis takes over the news, she lets readers know that not all Iranians are fanatic Muslim praying five times a day. Dumas' best defender for Iran is her protagonist, Cindy, and the story is based mostly on her own life and experiences. While written lightheartedly, there are some serious themes in this book. Tolerance and acceptance are two very important themes, two themes that are important in today's political crisis in the Middle East, and they are presented in such a way that young readers can understand them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's the late 1970's and Zomorod (Cindy) is the new kid in town, for the fourth time. Her family has moved from Iran to Newport Beach, California.Read more
I read It Ain't So Awful, Falafel with my daughter and it constantly provided us with food for long...Read more