Other Words for Home Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-05-28 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

" I'm working to build a diverse library for my 5th grade students. This book would be a great addition! " said.

" Beloved story. Incredibly beautiful and moving. Upon finishing, and reading the author's note, my daughter said to me, "I didn't think of Jude as a refugee, as someone who is missing something. I just thought of her as Jude." For all that she is. For her dreams, humor, family, friends, and her journey. Thank you Jasmine Warga for bringing us Jude's story and her full humanity. " said.

" I have read many middle-grade immigrant stories, and this is definitely one of the very best. The main character and her mother are immigrants from Syria, and it addresses learning English, missing and worrying about family members left behind, growing up, Islamophobia, and courage. It's never preachy or sappy - just lovely and inspiring. Highly, highly recommended for upper elementary, middle school, high school, and beyond! " said.

"This story hits home. I could truly relate, having gone through a similar process myself (my family moved to the United States from Eastern Europe when I was 12) minus the name calling and offensive displays of stereotyping. The author hits the nail on the head with her simple, yet vivid descriptions of how a child might view the loud, accelerated day-to-day life in America, and the melting-pot of cultures, skin colors and languages. This is the type of book that I will safely tuck away on the highest shelf of my bookcase, while it awaits my own children to grow old enough to read it and appreciate what parents go through to give their offspring a chance at a better life.
" said.

"I couldn't stop reading this book! I immediately loved Jude and, at the same time, felt so awful for her. (She and her mom go to America to live with family while her dad and brother stay behind in Syria. Obviously the region is really volatile and she's concerned about their safety---moreso her brother---and also trying to fit in when she looks different and speaks English with an accent. You can imagine how well that goes over with some people.)

Ultimately, this is a story about resilience. Jude overcomes nervousness and the horrible attitudes of other people and does things the way she wants to do them. (I may have actually cheered at the ending.)

I think this is Jasmine Warga's best book yet and that's saying a lot. Highly recommended.
" said.

"What a beautiful and important book! I think the impact was probably heightened by reading it along side WE CROSSED A BRIDGE AND IT TREMBLED, a nonfiction collection of Syrian refugee narratives, but even without that added context this book is so necessary - we need books that celebrate Syrians as real people with real dreams and allow brown girls to find themselves. But even if there weren't such a dearth of books on the subject, this would be a great one: beautiful, lyrical verse, authentic characters with well-paced arcs, a protagonist who just makes you root for her, and honest but gentle confrontation of serious issues without being "an issues book." I cannot wait to push this into the hands of my coworkers, my library kiddos, my parents... so on and so forth. Pick this one up, y'all, it's worth it." said.

"@kidlitexchange #partner .
Thank you to the #KidLitExchange network for the review copy of #OtherWordsForHome. All opinions are my own. .
Wow!! As someone who spent years teaching ELL, this story is close to my heart. .
Jude and her mom travel to the United States to get away from the violence going on in Syria. This leads to a whole new country, new culture, new language, new foods, new school, new friends...The list goes on. .
Everyone keeps telling Jude she's "lucky", but how is Jude so lucky when she doesn't fit in and half her family is still at home?
Written in beautiful poetry, Other Words For Home is a wonderful look inside the reality that many people face every day. .
I would highly recommend this book to middle/high school readers.
" said.

"Jude always dreamed of America, but her dream was becoming a famous movie star just like in the American movies she and her best friend watched from their seaside town in Syria. It was nothing like what actually happened - leaving her father and brother to travel to stay with family in Cincinnati as things grow more and more volatile in Syria. Actually living in America is way different than the movies.

In America, Jude is "Middle Eastern". She gets looks from people and realizes that they assume that she has come from violence. She struggles to learn English and to make friends at her new school where her American cousin wants nothing to do with her. When she wants to try out for the school play, her cousin and her friends frown on it, assuming that someone with an accent will never get cast. Can this place ever feel like home? Will she ever be reunited with the other half of her family?

There were so many details that struck me throughout this story - like the reaction that Jude gets when she starts wearing hijab. Strangers approach her to tell her that she doesn't have to cover herself in America, but Jude has never seen hijab as anything but a joyous symbol of growing up. And the moment when Jude realizes that everyone here assumes that her country is violent and wartorn, when in fact Syria was peaceful for most of her life and she believes it will be again. Reading this book as a white woman, it shone a light on a lot of assumptions that American make about Muslim people and Middle Eastern countries. Jude learns what it's like to see her country through the eyes of others and it's much different than how she views her own home.
" said.

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