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This book follows the passionate Jude, a Syrian girl who dreams of being an American movie star and moves to the U.S. with her mother when local conflicts become too great. It paints a sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, but always honest picture of what it's like to relocate to a different place and culture, especially one that fears you and your people. I love the differing and subtle accents the reader gives each character. It brought me into the story nearly as much as the words themselves, pieces of verse containing wonderful and luscious phrases I wanted to hear again and again.— Jaclyn
“Other Words for Home is such an important book and should be required reading for every student at a middle-grade reading level. The character of Jude teaches us empathy as we read what it’s like to be a young teenager from Syria trying to fit in in America. She tries to learn the English language while tackling discrimination and classmates unwilling to understand and accept her, including her cousin of the same age. Jasmine Warga has created a story that is both powerful and gentle, big but full of small moments, a happy but sad story that will live in your heart.”
— Marilyn Robbins, BookBar, Denver, CO
Newbery Honor Book
A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed.
Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.
At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven't quite prepared her for starting school in the US--and her new label of "Middle Eastern," an identity she's never known before.
But this life also brings unexpected surprises--there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.
This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, most importantly, finding yourself.