Words in the Dust



Zulaikha Hopes She Hopes For Peace, Now That The Taliban Have Been Driven From Afghanistan A Good Relationship With Her Hard Stepmother And One Day Even To Go To School, Or To Have Her Cleft Palate Fixed Zulaikha Knows All Will Be Provided For Her Inshallah, God Willing Then She Meets Meena, Who Offers To Teach Her The Afghan Poetry She Taught Her Late Mother And The Americans Come To Her Village, Promising Not Just New Opportunities And Dangers, But Surgery To Fix Her Face These Changes Could Mean A Whole New Life For Zulaikha But Can She Dare To Hope They Ll Come TrueWords in the Dust

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Words in the Dust book, this is one of the most wanted Trent Reedy author readers around the world.

➛ Words in the Dust free download ➠ Author Trent Reedy – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 286 pages
  • Words in the Dust
  • Trent Reedy
  • English
  • 25 January 2019
  • 0545261252

10 thoughts on “Words in the Dust

  1. says:

    A children s book, written by a soldier about an Afghani girl, set in the recent past That s a toughie There are a lot of easier books out there to review too Why aren t I writing one about the adorable little girl who wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie or the one about the cute dog that wants to find its home Well, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, which I suspect is what author Trent Reedy wanted to do here With an Introduction by Katherine Paterson and enough backmatter A children s book, written by a soldier about an Afghani girl, set in the recent past That s a toughie There are a lot of easier books out there to review too Why aren t I writing one about the adorable little girl who wants to be Little Miss Apple Pie or the one about the cute dog that wants to find its home Well, sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, which I suspect is what author Trent Reedy wanted to do here With an Introduction by Katherine Paterson and enough backmatter to sink a small dinghy, Reedy takes a chance on confronting the state of the people of Afghanistan without coming off as imperialist, judgmental, or a know it all For the most part he succeeds, and the result is a book that carries a lotcomplexity in its 272 pages than the first 120 or so would initially suggest Bear with it then There s a lot to chew on here.Zulaikha would stand out in any crowd It s not her fault, but born with jutting teeth and a cleft upper lip she finds herself on the receiving end of the taunts of the local boys, and sometimes even her own little brother Then everything in her life seems to happen at once She s spotted by an American soldier, who with his fellows manages to convince their captain to have Zulaikha flown to a hospital for free surgery At the same time she makes the acquaintance of a friend of her dead mother, a former professor who begins to teach her girl how to read Top it all off with the upcoming surprise marriage of Zeynab, Zulaikha s older sister, and things seem to be going well Unfortunately, hopes have a way of becoming dashed, and in the midst of all this is a girl who must determine what it is she wants and what it is the people she cares about need.I approach most realistic children s fiction with a great deal of trepidation, particularly when it discusses topical information The sad truth of children s books is that they are perfect containers for didacticism, even if you did not mean for that to be the case when you begin With that in mind I read the first 120 pages of the story warily I wasn t certain that I liked what I saw either Seemed to me that this book was indeed showing an in depth portrait of Afghanistan, beauty, warts, and all, while the Americans were these near saviors, picking a poor girl out of the crowd upon whom to bestow free surgery out of the goodness of their golden glorious hearts Fortunately, by the time we got to page 120 we saw the flip side of the equation Yes, the Americans are perky and western and what have you They re also doofuses Sometimes They sort of blunder about Afghanistan without any recognition of the cultural courtesies they re supposed to engage in They merrily serve their Muslim guests food made out of pigs, unaware of what they re doing At one point Zulaikha s father grows increasingly angry with them for their distrust of common Afghan workers watching builders at gunpoint so that none of them steal tools as well as their conversational blunders Don t get me wrong The Americans are generally seen as good blokes But I was worried that this book was going to be one sweet love song to the American invasion, and it s not that It s nuanced and folks are allowed to be both good and bad Even the ones writing the book.I still got nervous, though I desperately did not want this to be a Poor Little Backwards Afghanistan story, so it s interesting to watch Reedy at work He draws very distinct lines between the Taliban and everyday Afghanis, which is important A lot of kids heck, a lot of adults have a hard time realizing that citizens of Afghan and the Taliban are not one and the same At the same time, he has to show the state women inhabit without pulling out any real judgments The name of the game here is to show and not tell I think we re all familiar with the awful historical novels where a girl will randomly say something like corsets restrictthan bodiesthey restrict minds I actually saw this in a book once without any outside influences Such moments are good for drama but are terribly unbelievable If Zulaikha for one moment suddenly threw down a chadri and stomped on it, the moment would feel forced and false So I was very impressed by the ending which I won t give away here since it invoked books like Anne of Green Gables in terms of its happy, if complicated resolution.It will be interesting to watch American kids read this title, though For one thing, how will they react to the physical violence of women Even good male characters in this book will occasionally hit their wives or children We don t see a lot of domestic violence in children s books where the abuser is not only forgiven but also beloved It s a cultural reality that some would rather their kids not face, but at the same time it happens And it seems to me that what Reedy wantsthan anything here is for child readers to make up their own minds I can seethan reader getting a little miffed that the neat and tidy comeuppances they re accustomed to are no longer at play.This brings up the question of the age of the readership too The suggested age of 9 13 is probably dipping a bit low Aside from the aforementioned domestic abuse there s also sex Not that any is ever viewed, but it s alluded to once in a while Now typically kids read into a book like this only as much as they themselves know Only a few would understand why Zulaikha s sister Zeynab blushes so much when receiving wedding night information Fewer still will understand the significance of the wedding cloth stained with her sister s blood though I suspect a few might ask their parents about it And then there s the moment when Zeynab, in the midst of her marriage, tries to explain to her sister some of her difficulties with her husband Every nightHe wants me to have a son, but I don t knowA little old for the readership but, again, a kid sees in that only as much as they necessarily know Some will comprehend Zeynab s meaning Others will merrily skim through, oblivious.The writing is strong, though sometimes a little predictable The minute Zulaikha s sister questioned the wisdom of bothering to educate women I thought, Uh oh Nothing good s gonna happen to her Sort of the case, I m afraid Reedy also spends a lot of time looking at the characters day to day lives This is understandable since it gives you a better sense of everyday living, but it does have the unfortunate downside of feeling like there s a bit of unnecessary padding here The inclination is to skip all this description and get to the plot, though fortunately that instinct doesn t have to kick in very often Reedy s book always keeps moving, never dies, and feels very much like a first novel A good first novel, though An interesting one.Reedy s Author s Note brings up an essential point that is worth discussing and that I was very pleased to find him address right off the bat After mentioning that he wrote this book because of another girl named Zulaikha with a cleft lip that he met while serving in Afghanistan between 2004 2005 he goes on to say that he made a promise to her in his head that he would write this book He goes on, Of course, another problem I had in keeping my promise is that I have never been a girl and I am not an Afghan Many would say that stories about Afghan girls should best be told by Afghan girls I agree completely I would love nothingthan to read the story of the girl who we helped in her own words However, the terrible reality is that by some estimates, 87 percent of Afghan women are illiterate He goes on to mention other statistics as well and then says that he has done his best to be respectful of the culture and traditions of Afghanistan There was a bit of discussion last year about authenticity in children s literature Reedy himself brings up the point about whether or not it is ever okay to write about someone else s life and experience if they are not your own And what if the group you write about has, until now, remained largely silent in the American publishing world Is it better that no one writes anything, or should someone try Reedy compensates for what he is not by mentioning his advisors, his personal history in the region, the poetry used in the book even going so far as to say which translations he used, for which I was VERY grateful and then includes a recommended reading list about Afghanistan that includes books for both kids and teens as well as adults You cannot say he has not covered his bases If your objection is what he is and how that is not the same as the person he has taken the voice of or given voice to then none of that will change your mind For others, it gives the book a kind of legitimacy that the mere words upon the page would not have.Disfigured girls have a way of cropping up in Middle Eastern children s fiction these days It might be very interesting to pair this book alongside the set in Palestine novel Where The Streets Had A Name by Randa Abdel Fattah Of course, in Abdel Fattah s book the heroine s face was injured late in life and is easy enough to hide for the most part under make up The best pairing, however, would probably be with N.H Senzai s Shooting Kabul, a book inspired in part by the author s husband s experience fleeing Soviet controlled Afghanistan Words in the Dust is evencontemporary than those two novels, and it covers new ground Zulaikha s is a voice we ve not heard in recent children s books Here s the hope, then, that she is just the frontrunner ofgood things to come A strong debut For ages 11 and up

  2. says:

    I count this among the finest first novels I ve yet read I was most impressed by the tremendous empathy, Trent Reedy, a U.S soldier, was able to find for his main character, Zulaikha, a young Afghan girl He wrote so deeply in her perspective that if I were told that the book was written by Zulaikha, I d completely believe it.Part of what makes the writing so outstanding and believable is the level of detail Words in the Dust incorporates Reedy has obviously spend countless hours researching I count this among the finest first novels I ve yet read I was most impressed by the tremendous empathy, Trent Reedy, a U.S soldier, was able to find for his main character, Zulaikha, a young Afghan girl He wrote so deeply in her perspective that if I were told that the book was written by Zulaikha, I d completely believe it.Part of what makes the writing so outstanding and believable is the level of detail Words in the Dust incorporates Reedy has obviously spend countless hours researching the daily lives of the Afghan people which, when added to his personal experience in the country, makes the story utterly engrossing and realistic.Don t skip the amazing Author s Note at the end The idea that a soldier could arrive in Afghanistan to focus on hunting down terrorists and leave with a quixotic drive to tell the story of one small child brought tears of joy to my eyes

  3. says:

    The usual caveat I edited this, I m biased, etc.But what makes this book really, really good is first, how beautifully low key and specific it is about Zulaikha s life in western Afghanistan how she and her sister do housework all day, her stepmother s coldness, the teasing and low self esteem that come with her cleft palate and then how naturally the world opens up for her, through learning to read at last and surgery to fix her face and how wonderful and also painful are the changes that The usual caveat I edited this, I m biased, etc.But what makes this book really, really good is first, how beautifully low key and specific it is about Zulaikha s life in western Afghanistan how she and her sister do housework all day, her stepmother s coldness, the teasing and low self esteem that come with her cleft palate and then how naturally the world opens up for her, through learning to read at last and surgery to fix her face and how wonderful and also painful are the changes that follow Trent pulls no punches about anything, but neither does he punch where only a gentle nudge might do And every one of his characters is round and real I first read this book in November of 2009, right when President Obama was deliberating about how to proceed in Afghanistan, and it complicated my opinions of that in a way I m really grateful for I hope lots of readers will let their opinions be complicated too

  4. says:

    A solid contribution to the small but growing downtrodden Middle Eastern girl genre Zulaika has an interesting story arc, in that in the beginning her hopes and dreams are rather modest and it s only as she s exposed to the world outside of her home that she begins to dream of going to school and getting her cleft palate fixed Her desire to gain an education doesn t come out of nowhere or from a desire to be like her brothers it seems it generally hadn t occurred to her prior to hearing A solid contribution to the small but growing downtrodden Middle Eastern girl genre Zulaika has an interesting story arc, in that in the beginning her hopes and dreams are rather modest and it s only as she s exposed to the world outside of her home that she begins to dream of going to school and getting her cleft palate fixed Her desire to gain an education doesn t come out of nowhere or from a desire to be like her brothers it seems it generally hadn t occurred to her prior to hearing that the American soldiers were insisting a school be built for girls.But I think my absolute favorite part of the book may be Reedy s author s note Reedy writes of his time in Afghanistan as a member of the National Guard and how he was initially disappointed that his mission wasn t to fight terrorists instead he was working with Afghan communities to build schools and hospitals I always find it interesting when someone can admit that perhaps they didn t always have the noblest of intentions

  5. says:

    POTENTIAL SPOILERSPOTENTIAL SPOILERSPOTENTIAL SPOILERSBravo, Mr Reedy, BravoWHAT A STORY THIS BOOK IS FOR ALL AGES To say this book isn t breaking my heart and sucked me in from page one would be a total lie It has been several months since I have considered a YA book to be a worthwhile read and this onethan exceeds my expectations as a 43 year old woman I am heartbroken by the treatment of the main character, Zulaikha, yet as the book continues on..that heart break turns to h POTENTIAL SPOILERSPOTENTIAL SPOILERSPOTENTIAL SPOILERSBravo, Mr Reedy, BravoWHAT A STORY THIS BOOK IS FOR ALL AGES To say this book isn t breaking my heart and sucked me in from page one would be a total lie It has been several months since I have considered a YA book to be a worthwhile read and this onethan exceeds my expectations as a 43 year old woman I am heartbroken by the treatment of the main character, Zulaikha, yet as the book continues on..that heart break turns to heart warming as the exceptional young woman she is turning out to be I know this book will only get better and the 5 star rating will continue to be warranted To think that this is a book, about a 12 year old girl written BY A MAN..is evenimpressive.ETA OK, I thought the book made me bawl like a baby Normally, I skip over author s notes, but this one caught my attention for God knows what reason and made my heart warmyet again

  6. says:

    As Katherine Paterson puts it in her introduction to this heartwrenching debut novel, you will never read the news about Afghanistan again without remembering that you have a friend there a girl named Zulaikha with whom you hoped and suffered and rejoiced and prayed.

  7. says:

    I received this book through Goodreads Words in the Dust is the story of a young Afghani girl, Zulaika, with a cleft lip and palate The story explores her daily life in Afghanistan and the changes brought by the arrival of American soldiers Zulaika lives in a modest dirt home with her father, stepmother, her older brother and sister Zeynab , and her two younger brothers Her mother had been killed years before Initially, Zulaika s life consists of chores, as school is not even a considerati I received this book through Goodreads Words in the Dust is the story of a young Afghani girl, Zulaika, with a cleft lip and palate The story explores her daily life in Afghanistan and the changes brought by the arrival of American soldiers Zulaika lives in a modest dirt home with her father, stepmother, her older brother and sister Zeynab , and her two younger brothers Her mother had been killed years before Initially, Zulaika s life consists of chores, as school is not even a consideration for most people and certainly not for girls Her stepmother gives her the daily task of going to the bazaar to purchase the family s supplies, a task Zulaika deplores because people stare at her condition She also fears seeing two bullies who threaten her and taunt her with names On one of these visits, Zulaika meets Meena, a former teacher and a friend of her mother, who teaches Zulaika to read a write During her secret meetings with Meena, Zulaika develops self confidence and strengthens her connection with her mother, who had such a great passion for poetry that she named Zulaika after a character in one of her favorite poems When the American soldiers come to town, a soldier happens to see Zulaika, which starts her on a journey to get her mouth fixed, an answer to her prayers At the same time, the Americans bring opportunities for her father and brother s business as welders and the opportunity for her sister Zeynab to marry a successful Afgani, many years her senior, which seems to be an answer to her sister s prayers The novel gives great insight into Afghani culture and tradition and the Muslim religion Yet, it also demonstrates the universality of certain issues self esteem, bullying, stepparents Zulaika is a wonderful, sympathetic face for the true innocents in the Afghanistan conflict.The author shows the conflcit of tradition, fear of the reemergence of the Taliban, resentment of the Americans, as well as opportunities from the Americans Having been a soldier himself stationed in Afghanistan, the author s descriptions are very realistic He also does not hold back criticism of Americans who are ignorant of local customs such as acknowledging men first and the hard feelings such simple missteps can create I am amazed that an American man could create a teenage, female Afghani girl whose voice is completely authentic This book would be a wonderful teaching tool to humanize the conflict and to encorage tolerance and cross cultural respect I highly recommend this as a selection for adults, as well as young adults AI found myself racing back to the book to find out what happened next This is a truly engrossing and fabulous read

  8. says:

    I won this book through GoodReads Having the privilege of a first read was lots of fun I really enjoyed this novel The story follows the life of a young Afghan girl, Zulaikha, who, born with a cleft lip, struggles with her own self image as she comes of age In a country previous wrought by the restrictions of the Taliban, Afghanistan is in a time of change under the presence of the American soldiers Zulaikha comes into direct contact with American soldiers as they help her fix her cleft lip I won this book through GoodReads Having the privilege of a first read was lots of fun I really enjoyed this novel The story follows the life of a young Afghan girl, Zulaikha, who, born with a cleft lip, struggles with her own self image as she comes of age In a country previous wrought by the restrictions of the Taliban, Afghanistan is in a time of change under the presence of the American soldiers Zulaikha comes into direct contact with American soldiers as they help her fix her cleft lip and provide her father with profitable employment There is a glimpse of the marriage process in the book as her sister marries young, leaving her starving for companionship She finally begins to learn to read and write from her mom s friend Meena and desires to go to school to learnThis book is a wonderful blend of story and culture The different cultural aspects were what really intrigued me in this book While many of the Afghan words stopped me in the beginning even with the wonderful glossary, it was hard to get into immediately , it was fascinating to see Afghanistan s perspective on American presence What is even cooler about this book is that the perspective comes from a young girl in a culture that rarely lets women speak or think freely The encounters with the Americans really highlight the contrast in cultures, as Zulaikha does not understand a handshake or soldiers speaking to her rather than her father While heartbreaking, I also enjoyed following the parallel tale of her sister as she finds herself in the married state I could not imagine marrying someone whom I did not see until the actual wedding day This novel is incredibly powerful and is a great tool for any middle school classroom The cultural and political aspects are present and relevant Beyond that, the themes of identity, personal growth, and independence can all lead to an enriching literary discussion This novel really makes the readerunderstanding of and sympathetic to the citizens of Afghanistan s situation There is so much hatred directed towards Afghanistan that is based on false misconception and stereotypes I believe this novel can be used to help eradicate and prevent these assumptions from forming, especially when starting at a young age

  9. says:

    Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy.This is of the YA genre but I still enjoyed reading it DONKEY FACE Donkey Face Can you imagine hearing that chant every time your mother sent you to the market Neither can I but Zulaikha lived with it Always pulling her chador tighter across her mouth.Zulaikha is a young Afghani girl with a cleft palate Zulaikha s life is not easy Her brother and others make fun of her The Taliban while no longer in power has violently taken her mother from her and she li Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy.This is of the YA genre but I still enjoyed reading it DONKEY FACE Donkey Face Can you imagine hearing that chant every time your mother sent you to the market Neither can I but Zulaikha lived with it Always pulling her chador tighter across her mouth.Zulaikha is a young Afghani girl with a cleft palate Zulaikha s life is not easy Her brother and others make fun of her The Taliban while no longer in power has violently taken her mother from her and she lives her life keeping house for her very traditional father and his wife who is very mean to Zulaikha One day on her way home from market Zulaikha meets her Muallem teacher Can this women teach her to read and write Will her father find out and forbid her Zulaikha just wants to be normal like her sister To plan to get married one day To perhaps get an education and learn to read like her mother could Who would want to marry someone with a donkey face To have to watch someone eat the way she does Then one day while on an errand to the market Zulaikha is spotted by an American Solider who sees her deformity and learns who she is and helps her father get her surgery But will this surgery make her life better You must read the book to find out The author Trent Reedy was inspired by a girl he met during his tour of duty in Afghanistan, and Zulaikha s character is based loosely on her experiences

  10. says:

    Sweet and caring Zulaikah is the second oldest girl in her large family They live in a small village in Afghanistan a country that places a lot of importance on marriage prospects for their children For Zulaikah, this reality is hard to take because she has a cleft palate, which makes her less desirable for a match in marriage After watching her sister get married to an older wealthy man, Zulaikah wonders what her life will become other than helping to raise her younger siblings and doing cho Sweet and caring Zulaikah is the second oldest girl in her large family They live in a small village in Afghanistan a country that places a lot of importance on marriage prospects for their children For Zulaikah, this reality is hard to take because she has a cleft palate, which makes her less desirable for a match in marriage After watching her sister get married to an older wealthy man, Zulaikah wonders what her life will become other than helping to raise her younger siblings and doing chores.Things change completely when two things happen first, when American soldiers arrive in their village, one of them notices Zulaikah s mouth and offers her father the chance for her to have free surgery to fix her problem and second, when she meets a former university professor in her village who offers to teach Zulaikah how to read and write All of a sudden, her future is looking much brighter but will her father allow her to follow her dreams This is an excellent book It s fascinating how different a teen girl s life in Afghanistan is from a teen girl s life in the United States but there are also many similarities, too Those who enjoyed this book might also like Where the Streets Had a Name Abdel Fattah and Jungle Crossing Salter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *