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Silverworld
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Silverworld
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Fall under the spell of this fantasy-adventure story about a Lebanese-American girl who finds the courage to save her grandmother. Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon.Sitti, Sami's Lebanese...
Fall under the spell of this fantasy-adventure story about a Lebanese-American girl who finds the courage to save her grandmother. Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon.Sitti, Sami's Lebanese...
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Description-

  • Fall under the spell of this fantasy-adventure story about a Lebanese-American girl who finds the courage to save her grandmother. Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

    Sitti, Sami's Lebanese grandmother, has been ill for a while, slipping from reality and speaking in a language only Sami can understand. Her family thinks Sitti belongs in a nursing home, but Sami doesn't believe she's sick at all. Desperate to help, Sami casts a spell from her grandmother's mysertious charm book and falls through an ancient mirror into a world unlike any other.

    Welcome to Silverworld, an enchanted city where light and dark creatures called Flickers and Shadows strive to live in harmony. But lately Flickers have started going missing, and powerful Shadow soldiers are taking over the land.

    Everyone in Silverworld suspects that Shadow Queen Nixie is responsible for the chaos, which is bad enough. But could Nixie be holding Sami's grandmother in her grasp too? To save Sitti and Silverworld, Sami must brave adventure, danger, and the toughest challenge of all: change.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    I

      

    “The moon was flat and white as a witch’s face.”

    Teta leaned forward, her black eyes alight as she told her story. 

    “I could hear the hooves of the desert raiders as they crossed the sands. All the others slept soundly in their tents. I was all alone, twelve years old—the only one who knew they were coming!” 

    “Was your mother there? Why didn’t you wake her?” Sami whispered. 

    Teta threw out her arms dramatically: light glinted on her silver necklace and Sami caught a glimpse of one of the Bedouin tattoos that scrolled up her grandmother’s arms. “I tried! But we’d led our caravan all the way to Wadi Rum that day. Miles and miles over burning sand. Everyone was exhausted and sound asleep. And these were no ordinary bandits—the raiders were horrible brutes. I knew they would take everything—every horse and goat. And worse. I’d heard the whispers that they stole children, sold them into slavery. I shook my mother, I cried out, ‘The bandits are coming!’ All she did was mutter and roll back to sleep. Oh, it was awful—I was so scared.” 

    Sami leaned back on her grandmother’s soft silk carpet. The smell of jasmine and wild thyme faintly reached her from the shelves that lined the bedroom. “What did you do?” Even though she’d heard the story many times before, she still felt breathless. 

    For a moment, Teta’s lined face looked years younger, the light having shifted so her hair seemed to regain its black luster and the gray faded; she sat straighter, her neck lifting. She adjusted her sapphire ring. “I felt her.” 

    “Ashrafieh?” Sami whispered. 

    “My double.” Teta nodded slowly. “I’d always known she existed. My great-uncle had told me of her for years. But this was the first time I’d felt her—deep in my center.” 

    “What did she feel like?” 

    “Like courage. And cunning. A powerful current rising up from my center.” Teta placed one hand on her solar plexus and Sami touched her own chest, somehow feeling that same hidden something. “And a voice. Like it came from my own smartest self. Speaking from deep inside a hidden world. She said to me: Remember your training, Serafina. Call for an enchantment!” 

    “An enchantment—from the spell book, you mean?” Sami asked eagerly. “When can I see it?” 

    “Are you twelve yet?” Teta’s eyes widened. 

    “Practically! It’s just a few weeks—” 

    “When you’re twelve,” Teta cut in. “There are so many wonderful adventures ahead of you. As well as many . . . challenges,” she added. There was the briefest hesitation in her voice, then she waved her hand. “Let’s not rush into things.” 

    “But I’m ready now. I’ve been ready for ages,” Sami moaned. 

    “And you’re interrupting the story.” Teta shook her head. “Listen! I pushed back the tent flap—it was heavy, made of goat hair—very good for keeping out dust and noise. I always preferred sleeping under the night sky, but my mother wouldn’t let me. I stood—the raiders were coming so near I could see the smoke of the horses’ breath, the foam on their muzzles. I lifted my hands straight up to the stars. I was shaking, scared as a little chicken, but I’d heard my mother and great-uncle use the enchantment spell many times and I knew it by heart. I’d...

About the Author-

  • Diana Abu-Jaber is most recently the author of Birds of Paradise, an Indie Books Pick, as well as the award-winning memoir The Language of Baklava and the bestselling novels Origin and Crescent, which were awarded the PEN Center USA Award for Literary Fiction and the American Book Award. Her first novel, Arabian Jazz, won the Oregon Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Silverworld is Diana's first novel for children and started as a tale she told to entertain her young niece while vacationing in a condo lined with mirrors!

    A frequent contributor to NPR, she teaches at Portland State University and divides her time between Portland and Miami. Find her online at @dabujaber or on her website dianaabujaber.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2020
    A girl struggling with change finds herself swept into a fantasy "world next door" heavily informed by her Lebanese-immigrant grandmother's stories. Samara Washington lives in Coconut Shores, Florida, with her mother, Alia; brother, Tony; and maternal grandmother, whom they call Teta. Her American-born father passed away when she was young. Although it's been about a year since they moved from Ithaca, New York, she has not made "real friend-friends" like the ones she left behind. Worse, Teta's changed, speaking gibberish to everyone except Sami, when they are alone. Alia is thinking about moving Teta to a nursing home, something Sami energetically opposes. Teta's told Sami stories about the magic in their family--stories about another world with magical sprites called Ifrit and air and light beings called Flickers. Convinced that Teta is under a spell, Sami finds her grandmother's charm book and uses it, entering Silverworld, a parallel world that, like Teta, is in terrible danger. Sami must decide whether she will confront the force that threatens Silverworld or go back home. In the tradition of epic fantasy, Sami will be tested and face her greatest fears. In her first novel for children, Abu-Jaber (Life Without a Recipe, 2016, etc.) includes pieces of Beirut that were part of Alia's and Teta's lives in Lebanon--meals they prepared together like kibbee, bamia, and tabbouleh; the adthan, or call to prayer--evoking a powerful image of that place while acknowledging Sami's bicultural American experience. An exciting fantasy with familiar elements--magical creatures, high stakes, and courage--rich with Lebanese texture. (Fantasy. 8-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2020

    Gr 3-5-Sami's Lebanese grandmother Sitti's health is declining, and she is saying things that only Sami seems to understand. Sami's father has died, and now her family wants to move Sitti into a home. But Sitti has always told Sami stories of magic, and the young girl believes that, with that magic, she can change things. When Sami falls through the old mirror in her room, she finds Silverworld. Believing that if she can save Silverworld from the invasive Shadow Queen Nixie, she can save Sitti, Sami embarks on a quest and finds she is more special than she ever thought. While this world is painted as a magical fantasy with dark Shadows, who talk and transform, and light Flickers, who have all colors of skin and hair, it feels rooted in reality. Readers may struggle to get lost in the magic. The book takes place in the modern world and has references to current issues, but lacks the depth to deliver a nuanced portrayal of the Bedouin and Arab cultures that are very much alive today, and not a romanticization limited to flowing clothes and golden headdresses. The occupants of Silverworld feel one-dimensional and inconsistent in a way that is distracting. There is also a lack of emotional intensity that these kinds of adventures usually elicit. While the author's note emphasizes the importance of story and giving a voice to those trying to fit between cultures, there are other examples of this done much more successfully. VERDICT Though this character gives a true meaning to the notion of living in two worlds, the story does not develop enough depth to make it a first purchase.-Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus "An exciting fantasy with familiar elements--magical creatures, high stakes, and courage--rich with Lebanese texture."

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    Random House Children's Books
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