Monday, February 24, 2020

32. Other Words for Home

Other Words for Home. Jasmine Warga. 2019. 352 pages. [Source: Library] [Coming-of-age, mg fiction; mg realistic fiction; Newbery honor; family; verse novel]

First sentence: It is almost summer and everywhere smells like fish, except for right down by the sea where if you hold your nose just right you can smell the sprawling jasmine and the salt water instead.

Premise/plot: Other Words for Home is a coming of age verse novel set in Syria and the United States. When the novel opens readers meet Jude and her family in Syria. We get to know her parents, her older brother, her aunt and best friend. When Syria becomes increasingly dangerous, Jude and her mother immigrate to the U.S. Jude’s uncle (her mom’s brother) lives with his family in Cincinnati. Jude has to adjust to America as it really is, not as it is in her favorite nineties movies starring Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock. Will Jude come to accept this as her new home or will home always be half a world away. Does she have to choose between them?

My thoughts: I enjoyed this compelling story. I thought the characters were fleshed out well. I got a definite sense of her life at home, at school, and a sense of who she was. I liked that Jude became involved with the school musical. I really enjoyed the developing friendships—Jude and Layla, Jude and Miles, etc.

It was a good read. I am glad it was a Newbery honor book so it caught my attention. 

 © 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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