- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 930 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray (May 28, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062747800
- ISBN-13: 978-0062747808
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Other Words for Home Hardcover – May 28, 2019
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Twelve-year-old Jude lives in a coastal tourist town in Syria where many people go to get away. While Jude wants to become a movie star, her older brother, Issa, wants more from their future than the oppression overtaking their beloved country. As the tumult crawls closer to Jude's home, Issa yearns to join the revolution in Aleppo, Baba refuses to leave his seaside store, and Mama believes the safest place for Jude, herself, and the baby she is carrying is with Jude's Uncle Mazin and Aunt Michelle in America. Leaving a possible war behind is easy, but leaving Baba, Issa, and everything she knows is hard. Adjusting to life in Cincinnati alongside her less-than-welcoming cousin, Sarah, is almost as difficult, especially with school play tryouts looming and Jude feeling that a girl like her would never get, or even merit, the spotlight. With the help of her fellow immigrant classmates and new Arabic-speaking American friend, Layla, Jude adjusts to her new home and family while never forgetting what she left behind. Told in verse and divided into five sections chronicling Jude's flight from Syria and adjustment to America, this powerful middle grade novel explores the complicated concepts of war and corruption, home, family, belonging, and how, in Jude's own words, "It is strange to feel lucky/for something that is making my heart feel so sad." Verdict Highly recommended for all libraries, this title will easily find a home next to books like Refugee by Alan Gratz and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai.-Brittany Drehobl, Morton Grove Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
[In] this timely book... rhythmic lines distill Jude’s deepest emotions…. Warga effectively shows, as she writes in an author’s note, that “children who are fleeing from a war zone... want the same things all of us do—love, understanding, safety, a chance at happiness.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Warga portrays with extraordinary talent the transformation of a family’s life before and after the war began in Syria.… Her free-verse narration cuts straight to the bone... [and] confront[s] the difficult realities of being Muslim and Arab in the U.S. Poetic, immersive, hopeful.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Warga’s middle-grade debut puts its hands around your heart and holds it, ever so gently, so that you’re aware of your own fragility and resilience: just as Jude is while her life changes drastically… Other Words for Home should find its way into every middle-grade reader’s hands.” (ALA Booklist (starred review))
“This powerful middle grade novel explores the complicated concepts of war and corruption, home, family, [and] belonging.... Highly recommended for all libraries, this title will easily find a home next to books like Refugee by Alan Gratz and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Convincing and authentic, infused with thoughtfulness, humor, determination, and hope…. A realistic portrait of the strength it takes to move to a new country, as well as of the complicated dynamics between first- and second-generation immigrants.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“Warga situates her verse novel at a sweet spot for middle-graders…the complications of assessing whether Jude is as lucky as everyone makes her out to be ring poignantly true, and when Jude takes her place on the school stage, Warga’s audience will surely applaud.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Through Jude’s eyes readers see firsthand what it is to leave behind one’s beloved home and family as many refugees do every single day. Young readers will laugh with Jude, cry with her, and root for her every step of the way. A beautiful, powerful, and necessary book.” (Aisha Saeed, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound.)
“Other Words for Home is a gorgeously written middle grade novel with words that soar off the page. Told in stunning verse and featuring an effortlessly lovable narrator, this book will be a staple of middle grade shelves for years to come.” (Rachel Strolle, Teen Librarian, Glenside Public Library)
“This is a necessary story. We’re lucky to have it in the world.” (Jason Reynolds, award-winning, bestselling author of Ghost and Long Way Down)
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28 customer reviews
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What I loved:
- The Poetry- intriguing similes and metaphors, emotions captured on the page, powerful language
- The Perspective- I appreciated that the protagonist was not from Aleppo, but from a vacation town on the sea in Syria. This shows a different perspective than I have seen, but one that is equally as important. Jude and her mother then come to stay with her uncle in America, and again, the perspective was different than other "refugee" stories but equally powerful.
- The People- Jude is protagonist to cheer for, however, there are so many dynamic, diverse characters in this story.
Other Words for Home reminds me of both Amal Unbound and Brown Girl Dreaming and I am going to bookshout it from the rooftops when I see my students in the fall.
You won’t be disappointed.