A gripping story about two brave children on the run in the Big Apple.
This timely story features two American children: Jason, the son of a single mom from Afghanistan who has overstayed her visa in America, and Max, a white American girl who has epilepsy. Serendipity brings the two children together and leads to an exciting but nerve-wracking adventure around New York City. The heroic protagonists exhibit a good balance between independent problem-solving and making mistakes. In Jason’s present-tense narration, Hashimi creatively explores the similarities and differences in the two children’s lives: how they grew up, their relationships with their families, the ways they use their wits, and their levels of trust. She also provides a nuanced and accessible perspective on the complex issues of illegal immigration and childhood epilepsy. Jason’s sole family member disappears for reasons he could never have contemplated, and Max is a witty, confident girl who longs to be considered just like everyone else. Leveraging her pediatrician expertise but without didacticism, Hashimi also shares what people should do if they see someone having an epileptic attack.
An important book with a well-crafted plot that is sure to linger several days after readers finish it. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)