Shortlisted for the 2014 Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature, Young Adult Book of the Year Category. An EBBY recommended title:" an intelligent, humorous, and delightful journal whose chapters are paced according to the Coptic calendar used to calculate agricultural seasons in Egypt. For a year, the reader is thrown together with the 13 year old urban writer into a world ruled by the seasons and the mindset of an agricultural society. Our protagonist joins his family for a year in Qena to care for his ageing grandmother, fully equipped with his anti-boredom kit that he relies on to avoid engaging with his surroundings. He first collides with them by trying to cleverly find solutions to the people's problems, but is quickly humbled by the understanding that they have dealt with every contingency before and that the modern solutions they have sometimes shunned do not come from stubborn ignorance but from a deeper understanding of the nature of their problems. From awkward collision to happy collusion, the boy learns to find ways to engage with the agricultural, social, culinary and cultural life of this Upper Egyptian village as he tries to make friends, prove his worth to his family, stay connected with Cairo and ultimately grow up."
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