"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

20 December 2016

One Half from the East

Hashimi, Nadia. One Half from the East. HarperCollins, 2016.

Obayda's father lost one of his legs in an explosion, and his career as a police officer is over. Obayda's family moves to a small town to be closer to relatives. While there, Obayda's aunt suggest that Obayda become a bacha posh, a girl who dresses and acts as a boy. It's hoped that Obayda - now Obayd - can bring some good "boy luck" to the family. At school, Obayd meets another bacha posh and they both wonder if maybe they can just stay boys forever.

This was a fascinating story to me. I've never heard of the bacha posh practice before, and it was interesting to see it through Obayda's eyes as she was given freedoms suddenly and privileges like having the largest portion at meals and being free from chores. I can imagine it would be difficult to give all of that up and go back to presenting female again. This is a great look at another culture and would be easy to recommend to tweens and teens as well.

Recommended for: tweens
Red Flags: a violent explosion causes Obayda's father to lose his leg; there is a warload who basically runs the small town where they live and he often threatens violence toward others
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Read-Alikes: If You Could Be Mine, The Garden of My Imaan, A Long Walk to Water

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