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The beautifully and prominently reviewed memoir by an extraordinarily courageous Afghan-American teenager, (now a student at Yale), coming of age in post 9/11 Afghanistan.
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Said Hyder Akbar is currently a junior at Yale University in New Haven, CT. He is also codirector and founder of his own nongovernmental organization, Wadan Afghanistan, which has rebuilt schools and constructed pipe systems in rural Kunar province. Susan Burton is a contributing editor of This American Life and a former editor at Harper's. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine.From School Library Journal:
Starred Review. Grade 8 Up–After the fall of the Taliban government in 2001, Afghans living in exile began to return home in hopes of participating in rebuilding their war-torn country. Akbar's father sold his hip-hop clothing store in Oakland to join his friend Hamid Karzai, now the elected president, serving first as his spokesman and later as the governor of the remote province of Kunar. The author joined him right after he finished high school and spent three summers, first in Kabul and then in Asadabad, the provincial capital. The young man traveled through the countryside and across the mountainous border into Pakistan. Equipped with a microphone and recorder, he chronicled his experiences and his reactions for public radio's This American Life. These immediate observations form the basis of this engaging and informative account of Afghan life and politics interwoven with a teen's reactions to his first visit to his family's native land. Because of his background and connections, his interest and knowledge of Afghan history and politics, and his language skills, Akbar was involved in his father's work in ways that most teens can only dream of. Readers are rewarded with an inside look at Afghan reconstruction that is both informative and appealing. The teen admires his father and his father's friends immensely; he dreams of being personally involved in nation-building. Readers will come away from this memoir with a strong desire to see into the young man's future and that of the country that has so entranced him.–Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD
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