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One Half from the East
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One Half from the East
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Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia, Thanhha Lai, and Rebecca Stead, internationally bestselling author Nadia Hashimi's first novel for young readers is a coming-of-age journey set in modern-day...
Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia, Thanhha Lai, and Rebecca Stead, internationally bestselling author Nadia Hashimi's first novel for young readers is a coming-of-age journey set in modern-day...
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Description-

  • Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia, Thanhha Lai, and Rebecca Stead, internationally bestselling author Nadia Hashimi's first novel for young readers is a coming-of-age journey set in modern-day Afghanistan that explores life as a bacha posh—a preteen girl dressed as a boy.

    Obayda's family is in need of some good fortune, and her aunt has an idea to bring the family luck—dress Obayda, the youngest of four sisters, as a boy, a bacha posh.

    Life in this in-between place is confusing, but once Obayda meets another bacha posh, everything changes. Their transformation won't last forever, though—unless the two best friends can figure out a way to make it stick and make their newfound freedoms endure.

    Nadia Hashimi's first novel for adults, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, was a bestseller that shares a bacha posh character with One Half from the East.

About the Author-

  • Nadia Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. In 2002, Nadia made her first trip to Afghanistan with her parents. She is a pediatrician and lives with her family in the Washington, DC, suburbs. She is the author of three books for adults, as well as the middle grade novels One Half from the East and The Sky at Our Feet. Visit her online at www.nadiahashimi.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2016
    Obayda's family moved to a rural village after a Kabul bomb blast took her father's leg and the family's livelihood; in a bid to attract good fortune, relatives persuade her mother to transform Obayda, 10, youngest of four daughters, into a bacha posh: a boy.Her mother adopts this traditional, underground practice reluctantly. Obayda's apprehensive but wants to help: her father was injured getting her medicine. Transformed by a haircut, boy attire, and new name--Obayd--she joins the boys' class at school. After a rocky start, she makes friends and discovers the joys of wearing pants; exempted from chores, she plays and climbs trees. Catapulted from youngest daughter to only son, she's served meat while her sisters get sauce and vegetables. Freedom's intoxicating, but at puberty she'll become a girl again--this time for good. Rahima, the central character of the Afghan-American author's similarly themed novel for adults, The Pearl that Broke Its Shell (2014), returns here. Given vast inequities between the sexes, bacha posh (variants exist elsewhere, too) injects cultural flexibility. Yet despite its utility (a pre-pubescent son can work, helping to support the family; a girl cannot), bacha posh may leave psychological and emotional scars, issues Hashimi touches on gently. Well-told through appealing characters, this tale sheds light from a unique cultural perspective on the link between vastly different, rigidly enforced roles for boys and girls and gender-identity issues. (author's note) (Fiction. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2016

    Gr 4-8-After Obayda's policeman father loses a leg in a car bombing in Kabul, her family moves to a rural village to be near their extended relatives. When her father retreats from life because of his injury, an aunt suggests that the girl be allowed to be a bacha posh and live as a boy. Obayda would have a better education and more opportunities, and the presence of a boy would bring luck, and perhaps a baby brother, to the family. "Obayd" struggles at first, but once she makes friends with Rahima (another bacha posh), she gains confidence and enjoys her new life. Their joy is short-lived. When Rahima is married off to a local warlord at the age of 13, Obayda makes a desperate attempt to keep her freedom. Told in clear, vivid prose that combines detailed descriptions of daily life with a good dose of adventure, this story has more information about bacha posh than Deborah Ellis's The Breadwinner and is a welcome addition to books about Afghanistan such as Trent Reedy's Words in the Dust and Andrew Clements's Extra Credit. The depiction of a country and family in turmoil is realistically handled, and Obayda's father does recuperate from his injuries with her help. VERDICT This is an excellent title that will offer students a window into life in Afghanistan and open interesting, age-appropriate conversations about gender expectations and roles in different countries.-Karen Yingling, Blendon Middle School, Westerville, OH

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books adamab - Not quite in the Book but love the begging plot To a transformation from a girl to a boy just to help her father's Joy. Obayd to Obayda her father was in car crash to his legs. He had no more legs to stand on. The had to move because he could not walk no more. The leave near his family. Her mother is not liking the experience because hardly any privacy from her dad family.
  • Cassie Beasley, author of Circus Mirandus "Like its young protagonist, One Half from the East dances between hope and hard realities. Obayda's struggle to define herself in a world that is all too eager to do the job for her is captivating."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) "Told in clear, vivid prose that combines detailed descriptions of daily life with a good dose of adventure, this story... This is an excellent title that will offer students a window into life in Afghanistan and open interesting, age-appropriate conversations about gender expectations and roles in different countries."
  • The Horn Book "By focusing on gender inequality as seen through the lens of a traditional society, Hashimi lets readers see themselves in Obayda's emotions, even as the outcomes remain true to the Afghan culture Hashimi portrays so fluently."
  • Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) "The first-person point of view in this novel will be impactful and meaningful to readers. Hashimi's Obayda will provide readers with insightful information about Islamic culture, and particularly the Afghani culture, as it relates to girls."

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