Friday, December 28, 2012

Reading: Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai

Shooting Kabul is a book I had to read this past semester for a seminar class which focused on childhood and war.  Intense class, right?  Anyway, I am notorious for not reading the assigned texts for my classes mostly because I am reading other books for pleasure and procrastinate like crazy!  However, this semester I really pushed myself not just for the good grades but because each book I read was going toward my 50 books of 2012 count.  In between my eight a.m. and twelve thirty class, I sat in one of the dining hall lounge areas and began reading this book.  It ended up taking me only three days to read it and I found that it was a rather enjoyable read.
The story centers on a boy named Fadi who's family is in the midst of escaping Afghanistan when his little sister falls of the truck they are on to escape and they are forced to leave her behind as they go to America.  Throughout the story, Fadi's inner struggle mirrors those of iconic characters such as Amir from The Kite Runner and Melinda Sordino from Speak.  He is plagued with the idea that it is his fault that his sister is lost all alone across the ocean.  While his life has been far from what Americans would call "normal", Fadi and his family try to coexist with their new home by getting jobs and going to school and doing things expected of them by the American people.  Fadi often reads a book called From the Mixed-up Filed of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and loves photography.  He enters his own photograph into a contest and desperately hopes to win because the first prize winner is able to travel to India.  Fadi's hope is that he will win and be able to find his sister while over seas.
This book is most definitely a bit wishy-washy at times particularly with the ending.  There are some scenarios that you read and just know would never happen that way.  That being said, I think this was an excellent novel.  One theme I love is that Muslims are not evil.  Fadi and his family are very peaceful people.  Something else I particularly like is the title.  It definitely foreshadows the end of the novel.  Overall it was a fresh read and I will give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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