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I’LL ASK YOU THREE TIMES, ARE YOU OK? by Naomi Shihab Nye Kirkus Star

I’LL ASK YOU THREE TIMES, ARE YOU OK?

Tales of Driving and Being Driven

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-085392-1
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

“A late night driver in Pittsburgh said, ‘I dream about staircases under the bed going down to other worlds. Do you?’ ‘No,’ I said. ‘But it sounds interesting.’ ” Nye has hailed cabs from Seattle to Delhi and everywhere in between, and in this moving collection of 31 essays, she conveys how, for her, a taxi ride is truly “the central human experience.” Though cars drive the theme here, they are just, well, vehicles to express the author’s contagiously enraptured sense of the beauty and wonder of living on planet Earth. In casual conversations with taxi drivers around the world, the self-proclaimed nomad finds jewels of wisdom and new perspectives that she presents in thoroughly engaging vignettes. While the essays relating childhood memories of car-related incidents and accidents sometimes ramble, the overall collection is inspiring and has moments of real magic. Nye not only tells us, “it’s the journey, not the destination,” she shows us how, again and again. Go ahead, take a cab . . . there’s sure to be a radio station blaring that you would never have heard otherwise. (Nonfiction. YA)