Shooting Kabul

I know your initial thought on that title is that this has something to do with guns. But actually, the “shooting” refers to a camera, one of the items Fadi brings with him when his family escapes from the Taliban in Afghanistan to refuge in America.

This book meets the challenge of an immigration story.

It is a fiction story based in 200-2001, but it is based on the real-life story of the author’s husband’s family’s escape in the 1970s.

I enjoyed this book, and would be willing to add it to my school’s library collection. It is something I think could help students better understand the many refugees that are coming from the Middle East.

Below is my goodreads summary/thoughts:

Shooting KabulShooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai

I don’t remember where I heard about this book, but I chose it because I needed an immigration story for my yearly reading challenge.

This story is one I think any immigrant can relate to, especially those coming from the Middle East. It is a fiction story set in 2000-2001, but it was based on the author’s husband’s real-life back in 1970s.

As Fadi and his family are fleeing the Taliban for freedom, his younger sister Miriam is lost in the crowd. Fadi feels guilty and responsible that she is not with them when the family reaches America. He has a hard time adjusting until he hears about a photography club in his middle school. The grand prize winner gets to pick their choice of destination, including India. He has now figured out his chance to save his sister and return honor to his family.

When his camera is destroyed by some bullies in the wake of 9/11, Fadi losses all hope of finding his sister. The winner of the photography contest is announced and at the ceremony, a certain photograph catches his attention.

I liked how Fadi and I have something in common – photography. We both enjoy taking photos. It bridged the cultural gap and helped me relate to him. I also liked how he found inspiration and could relate to the book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in aspects of his flight and new life in America. His struggle in the toy store is something I think people who have gone through traumatic events can relate to – something so simple triggering those feelings buried down deep.

Definitely a book for older kids to read to help them put themselves in the shoes of some of the refugees that are entering their classrooms.

The author wrote a second book in which Fadi’s younger sister appears, and I’m interested in seeing how she too has adjusted to life in America.


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