Written by Naomi Shihab Nye
Published by Greenwillow Books
This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is acclaimed poet and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye’s first novel set in the Middle East since her acclaimed Habibi. Aref Al-Amri does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase, but he refuses. Finally, she calls Siddi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Siddi’s roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, and they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Siddi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref’s suitcase mementos of home. Naomi Shihab Nye’s warmth, attention to detail, and belief in the power of empathy and connection shines from every page.
Primary ISBN: 9780062019721
Available As: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook
Chapter Book, Age 09 or older
Community Represented: Omani/Omani American
Setting: Oman, United States
Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Immigrant
Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience
Engagement Projects & Resources:
Share your favorite resources for this book with email@example.com.