Words in the Dust
by Trent Reedy
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Synopsis: Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace in Afghanistan, now that the Taliban have been driven from her country. She hopes for a good relationship with her hard stepmother. She even hopes that one day she could go to school, or have her cleft lip corrected-inshallah, God willing.
Then she meets Meena, who agrees to teach her to read. And American soldiers come to her village, offering not just new opportunities and dangers, but also surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha-but can she dare to hope they'll come true?
Review: I'm having a hard time figuring out what to say for this book. Was it an outstanding, amazing book? No. Was it badly written with a terrible story? No. Was it a good, decent, clean written book? Yes. But I can't pinpoint why it wasn't amazing. It is a young adult novel and it was very easy to read and perhaps that is why I'm a little perplexed. I've read fantastic young adult novels so this one fell flat for me. I think it was written for a much younger crowd than the young adult books I normally read. I liked the story line of Zulaikha and how she was embarrassed by her cleft lip and how she wanted to read. I did feel bad for the women in the story as a woman's life in Afghanistan is so different and empty of opportunities like we have here. The story was a bit predictable for me.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars