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An Infidel in Paradise
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An Infidel in Paradise
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Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn't enough,...
Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn't enough,...
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  • Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn't enough, she must cope with an increasingly tense political situation that becomes dangerous with alarming speed. Her life and those of her sister and brother depend on her resourcefulness and the unexpected help of an enigmatic Muslim classmate.

About the Author-

  • Susan Laidlaw has twenty years experience as a teacher and counselor in schools and clinical settings around the world. She has published articles on parenting and has led workshops for parents and professional educators on a diverse range of topics related to raising and working with third culture children. When she isn't backpacking through Asia or birdwatching around her island home in Honduras, she can be found writing stories. Susan Laidlaw currently resides in Indonesia.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2013

    Gr 9 Up-Sixteen-year-old Emma, daughter of a Canadian diplomat, has moved from country to country all her life, but after her parents' rancorous divorce, she is forced to move from the Philippines to a diplomatic compound in Islamabad, where her mother has been posted. Emma resents the numerous restrictions, the loss of her friends, and the dullness of life in Pakistan, and is angry about her father's desertion and her mother's constant work-related absences. She alienates other students on the first day at her new school when she gives an honest answer to the question, "How are you enjoying Pakistan?" but she eventually makes some tentative friendships and tries to address some of the poverty-related issues around her. However, political tensions and her own ill-advised attraction to a handsome Pakistani classmate lead to trouble, and on one horrifying night, Emma is trapped outside the diplomatic enclave in the middle of a riot. She is attacked and nearly raped before being rescued by Pakistani soldiers. However, the novel ends on a hopeful note with Emma reaching out to her family and new friends. This is an honest and realistic story about being an outsider in another country (much of it is based on the author's own experiences). Emma could have easily come off as whiny and unsympathetic, but the author shows that she has legitimate reasons for her grief and pain. Laidlaw does not hold back from depicting some of the less-attractive aspects of Pakistani life, but she also conveys a sense of the beauty and wonder of this culture.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • VOYA Magazine Winner – IODE Violet Downey Book Award
    Nominated – Snow Willow Award
    Selected – OLA's Best Bets List for Kids and Teens
    Selected – VOYA's Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers

    "Laidlaw, a globetrotting social worker, puts her firsthand knowledge of faraway lands and cultures to good use in this exciting tale of a Canadian teen's encounters with some of the best and worst features of a radically different society. Emma's first-person, present-tense narration is realistic and compelling"

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