*A Novel by Nadia Hashimi
Sometimes a story for middle grade readers can have you feeling "grown up'. As if you don't understand where the child is coming from, making you want to push the book away. That's not the case with Nadia Hashimi's The Sky at Our Feet. The story resonates with today's news headlines, but it also settles where we usually don't like to look, within our own hearts. You share with Jason D., the fears of not belonging and being alone.
The Sky at Our Feet is the story of Jason D., a boy named after half a year. When he watches his mother taken away by Immigration officers, he feels his Afghan mother will be immediately deported to a dangerous country. He fears he'll be transported as well, to a land that killed his father and branded the family traitors. So he runs.
Unsure where to go, because his mother was extremely protective, he decides to run to a close, family friend, Auntie Seema. On the way, he has an accident and winds up in the hospital, faking amnesia. That's when he meets Max, a girl seeking purpose as much as Jason D.'s seeking sanctuary. Together they make a break and take on an adventure on the streets of New York, with the sky at their feet.
I loved this book. I loved the reasoning, the purpose and the need for acceptance. Jason D.'s run shares the world the way we've all seen it at one time or another. What makes his journey so special is that he'd found appreciation for America. He didn't want to lose the only life he knew, not knowing he was already a piece of the so-called pie and the American Dream.
I read The Sky at Our Feet with my son, Joshua. Together, we shared the journey and even found some appreciation in our own lives. The book allowed me to see through similar eyes and remembered how innocent our children are. We need to know our heritage, but we can't be afraid to go out and enjoy the world. Why we look to the sky when we dream and how to keep our feet in it- that whole concept is beautiful!
Read The Sky at Our Feet. I believe you'll love the quick read. It took us about 9 days to read it, but I'm sure, had I read it on my own, I'd have been done days ago. Cheers!
The Sky at Our Feet
A Harper Collins Publication, March 6th
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