Dawn and Dusk
By Alice Mead
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374317089, 160pp.)
Publication Date: February 20, 2007
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For as long as thirteen-year-old Azad can remember, the Islamic Republic of Iran, where he lives in the predominantly Kurdish town of Sardasht, has been at war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and his country has been a harsh society full of spies, secrets, and "disappearances." Still, most of the time Azad manages to live a normal life, hanging out at the bakery next door, going to school with his friend Hiwa, playing sports, and taking care of his parrot. Then Azad learns that his town may soon become a target for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Now more than ever, Azad feels torn between his divorced parents and his conflicting desires to remain in his home or escape. His father is somehow connected to the police and is rooted in the town. His mother may be part of the insurgency, yet is ready to flee. How can Azad make the choice?
The story of how one boy's world was turned upside down in 1987 Iran is a timely and memorable introduction to the conflicts in the Middle East.
ALICE MEAD has written several books about children in war-ravaged societies, including Girl of Kosovo, an NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. She lives in Maine.
"An important story, and any reader, young or old, wishing to know more about Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Sudan and other troubled spots of the modern world would do well to start with Mead's many informative works." --Kirkus Reviews "Moving. Mead brings home the tragedy of war through the experiences of one young teen." --Booklist "Appealing." --School Library Journal "A compelling tale." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books