Monday, October 20, 2008

Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World

Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World by Elsa Marston
This engaging collection of eight short stories about Arab teenagers living in Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and a Palestinian refugee camp depicts teens' experiences growing up in the Middle East. The characters, drawn from urban and rural settings and from different socioeconomic classes, confront situations involving friends, family, teachers, and society at large. Along with some specifically Middle Eastern issues, such as strife in Iraq, the hardships of life in a Palestinian refugee camp, and honor crimes, the young people deal with more familiar concerns such as loyalty to friends, overcoming personal insecurities, dreams of a future career, and coping with divorcing parents. Coming of age in a complicated world, they meet life with courage, determination, and, not least of all, humor. With accompanying notes that provide contextual information, Santa Claus in Baghdad brings a fresh perspective to youth literature about the Arab world.

2 comments:

Kirkus Reviews said...

...a welcome and human glimpse into an often misunderstood culture...

Multicultural Review said...

...sensitive tales feature compelling characters, interesting dilemmas, and vivid language...