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Under the persimmon tree.

By: Publication details: London : Walker, 2006.Description: 297pISBN:
  • 0744555973
Subject(s): DDC classification:
  • F
Summary: In the mountains of northern Afghanistan after 9/11, Najmah watches in horror as the brutal Taliban kidnap her father and older brother. Will they ever return home? When her mother and baby brother die in an American air raid, she stops speaking, and, disguised as a boy, makes a perilous journey to a refugee camp in Pakistan. In a parallel narrative, Nusrat (her American name was Elaine), who converted to Islam when she met Faiz in New York, has set up a rough school for the refugees. She has had no news of Faiz, her husband, since he left to establish a clinic in the north. The two stories come together when Najmah and Nusrat meet in the camp, where they wait in anguish for news of the people they love. Staples weaves a lot of history and politics into her story (including information about the Taliban's suppression of women), and she includes a map, a glossary, and brief background notes to give even more context. But as with her Newbery Honor Book, Shabanu (1989), it's the personal story, not the history, that compels as it takes readers beyond the modern stereotypes of Muslims as fundamentalist fanatics. There are no sweet reunions, but there's hope in heartbreaking scenes of kindness and courage.
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Fiction Fiction Conde Library Conde Library Fiction F STAP (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available R087242KPYMB

In the mountains of northern Afghanistan after 9/11, Najmah watches in horror as the brutal Taliban kidnap her father and older brother. Will they ever return home? When her mother and baby brother die in an American air raid, she stops speaking, and, disguised as a boy, makes a perilous journey to a refugee camp in Pakistan. In a parallel narrative, Nusrat (her American name was Elaine), who converted to Islam when she met Faiz in New York, has set up a rough school for the refugees. She has had no news of Faiz, her husband, since he left to establish a clinic in the north. The two stories come together when Najmah and Nusrat meet in the camp, where they wait in anguish for news of the people they love. Staples weaves a lot of history and politics into her story (including information about the Taliban's suppression of women), and she includes a map, a glossary, and brief background notes to give even more context. But as with her Newbery Honor Book, Shabanu (1989), it's the personal story, not the history, that compels as it takes readers beyond the modern stereotypes of Muslims as fundamentalist fanatics. There are no sweet reunions, but there's hope in heartbreaking scenes of kindness and courage.

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The Pymble Libraries acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which we learn and create. We pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to other First Nations People within the Pymble Ladies’ College community. We gain inspiration from First Nations Peoples’ enduring connection to culture, community, and story.

I would like to acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which we are gathered, the Darramuragal people. And pay our respects to all elders, past, present and emerging.
As we remember that under this concrete and asphalt this land is, was and always will be sacred to Aboriginal people.

The Pymble Libraries acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which we learn and create. We pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to other First Nations People within the Pymble Ladies’ College community. We gain inspiration from First Nations Peoples’ enduring connection to culture, community, and story.