Skip to main content

Book Review: A Map of Home

A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar follows a girl named Nidali, who was born in Boston to a Greek-Egyptian mother and a Palestinian father. She spent her childhood in Kuwait until it was invaded by Iraq, at which point she and her family made a trek to Egypt and then on to Texas. Nidali struggles through typical adolescent issues - friendships, school, a first love - while also having to deal with moving around and trying to hold onto some semblance of home.

I picked this book up at a used bookstore mostly because I thought the cover looked interesting. I read the synopsis and decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful story that flows easily and brings humor to some very difficult topics, including war and abuse. Jarrar's development of the characters of Nidali and her parents was detailed and realistic. Even with all of their flaws, I really felt connected to these characters - they seemed like real people. The book actually reads like a journal or memoir rather than the fiction that it is.

If you're looking for something different, I recommend this book. And if Jarrar writes another novel, I will definitely seek it out because I truly enjoyed her writing style. I will mention that there are some rather explicit references to sexual topics. But nothing that takes away from the story.

My Rating: 4/5

Reading group guide and discussion questions for A Map of Home

This review was written based on a copy of A Map of Home that I purchased.


Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

April Reading Review

Where exactly did April go? I swear it was just the middle of March and now it's May. Once again, I'm going to provide a quick review of each of the books I read last month. For the last two weeks of the month, I participated in the Spring Into Horror Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. The only rule was that you had to read at least one book that was horror, thriller, etc. I read one book that qualified. With the exception of the first book in my list, the books I mention below were read during the readathon

My book club's May selection was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I had started reading this nonfiction book about the author's work representing men, women and children who were on death row in March but finished the book in April. This is an eye-opening story that everyone at my book club discussion agreed should be required reading for law schools and police officers and even legislators who are making the laws related to judgements. I learned to…