An enthusiastic boy from Oman has serious misgivings about temporarily moving from his homeland to Michigan.
For Aref Al-Amri, “Oman was his only, number one, super-duper, authentic, absolutely personal place,” but in one week, he and his mother will be joining his father in Ann Arbor for three years. Aref hates saying goodbye to his friends and worries about being a new, foreign kid at an American public school. He hates leaving his house, his room and his rock collection. What about his cat, Mish-Mish? Mostly, Aref dreads leaving his beloved grandfather, Sidi. As he avoids packing his suitcase, Aref savors the familiar sights, sounds and scents of his hometown, Muscat, providing readers with a rich taste of life in contemporary Oman. Only after spending several days in Sidi’s reassuring company, exploring favorite desert and seaside haunts, is Aref finally able to “make a little space for bravery inside his fear.” Spanning Aref’s final week in Oman, this sensitive chronicle perceptively conveys the feelings and fears of a boy about to leave the known and face the unknown.
A warm and humorous peek at the profound and mundane details of moving from one country to another—a perfect pick for kids on the move. (Fiction. 8-12)