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I See the Sun in Afghanistan Paperback – July 1, 2011
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Written in English and Dari (the official language of Afghanistan), this third book in the I See the Sun series provides a window into the life of an Afghan girl while touching on the effects of war. Habiba awakens before dawn to gather water from the well, attends school, and spends time with her family; but in the afternoon, Habiba's uncle (who has lost his legs), aunt, and cousins arrive--to stay.
K-Gr 2 -- This simple story follows a young Afghani girl from sunrise to sunset. Living in Bamiyan, a relatively safe city, Habiba fetches water, attends school, and anticipates the arrival of her cousins, who have lost their home because of the war. The story captures the flavor of the culture, and the love and support of this close family is evident. The story is written in both English and Dari (Afghan Farsi), and an author's note provides supplemental information. Inglese's watercolor and collage illustrations are well composed, and color and pattern add richness and texture. This interesting glimpse into the day-to-day life in this turbulent country will allow children to appreciate the similarities and differences that exist between the two cultures.- Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJSchool Library Journal
About the Author
Author, Dedie King, a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, also taught school there. She travels extensively and spends a considerable amount of time, not as a tourist, but immersed in many cultures, living with families who open their homes to her. She holds a MEd and has taught elementary school and children with learning disabilities. Her interest in writing books about different cultures is to bring awareness to young children of both the sameness and the differences of cultures around the world.
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I like this series. It gives a view of life through the eyes of children from different lands that I have not seen in other books. Children will immediately relate to the children featured in the stories and that makes this an excellent series for social studies in the classroom or at home. - Biblio Reads Children's Book Review
By Dedie King, Illustrations by Judith Inglese
2011, Satya House Publications
Review by Debra L Scott, 12/14/2011
A young girl, Habiba, walks through her day in a small village in Afghanistan. There is no war or conflict here, just normal life. Habiba does her chores, goes to school, and runs errands like children all over the world. This area is relatively isolated from the problems Afghanistan has faced elsewhere, and a bit more liberal minded, so the young reader will find some common ground here. The first person narrative writing has some very lovely moments like the passage below.
"The cool air tingles my face and bare arms as I step outside. I see the milky glow of dawn over the compound wall. I hear the lambs softly bleating their mothers awake. The doves coo in answer. The early morning sounds fill me with fresh hope for the day. "
The book is written bilingually, in English and in Dari (Afghan Farsi), so could be read by speakers of either language. Even for English only speakers, the beautiful farsi script is interesting to look at. Children who love hearing about other cultures will find the book delightful, and perhaps those of Afghani descent will enjoy a book that shows their children what life was like for them or their ancestors from this region. At the end of the book is a glossary of terms that would be unfamiliar to most American children. There is also a very interesting section that tells about the region of Bamiyan, and why it is an area that allows girls to attend school, and why it has stayed relatively uninvolved with the war.