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A Long Way from Home
Cover of A Long Way from Home
A Long Way from Home
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Thirteen-year-old Rabia, along with her mother and younger brother, flee Afghanistan and the brutal Taliban for Pakistan. Relocating to North America, their flight falls on the fateful morning of 9/11. After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, their plane is diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. Also on the plane is an American boy named Colin, who struggles with his prejudices against Rabia and her family. The people in the small community of Gander, including teens Jason and Leah, open their hearts and their homes to the stranded passengers, volunteering to billet the hundreds of unexpected visitors to the island. Their kindness might be the bridge to understanding and acceptance that Colin and Rabia need.

Thirteen-year-old Rabia, along with her mother and younger brother, flee Afghanistan and the brutal Taliban for Pakistan. Relocating to North America, their flight falls on the fateful morning of 9/11. After the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, their plane is diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. Also on the plane is an American boy named Colin, who struggles with his prejudices against Rabia and her family. The people in the small community of Gander, including teens Jason and Leah, open their hearts and their homes to the stranded passengers, volunteering to billet the hundreds of unexpected visitors to the island. Their kindness might be the bridge to understanding and acceptance that Colin and Rabia need.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.3
  • Lexile:
    600
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Alice Walsh grew up in northern Newfoundland and now lives in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. She writes fiction and nonfiction for adults and children, and her articles and short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. Her published work includes seven books for children and a nonfiction book for adults. She has worked as a probation officer and nursery school teacher, and has taught creative writing for adults.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2012
    Stranded for several days in Gander, Newfoundland, after American airspace was closed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rabia, a 14-year-old Afghan girl, and 11-year-old New Yorker Colin unexpectedly connect. Walsh has used facts of the extraordinary welcome some 6,000 grounded air passengers received as unexpected guests of the surprised islanders as background for the stories of two young people: the Afghan refugee, escaping with what remains of her family, and the American sixth-grader, worried about the possible dissolution of his. It is the open friendliness of Canadian sixth-grader Leah that connects the two. As many Americans did, Colin reacts first with hostility, mindlessly connecting Rabia's Afghan nationality and Muslim faith with the acts of Osama bin Laden's followers. Learning her story makes him more sympathetic. And, though somewhat confusingly told from different points of view, this is essentially Rabia's story. There are flashbacks to earlier, happier times before she lost a foot to a land mine, her father was arrested, her oldest brother died, and her second brother was sent away. When her mother has a heart attack in Gander, Rabia rightly feels overwhelmed. Happily, responsible adults step in. Part refugee story, part 9/11 remembrance, this is a welcome addition to a small shelf. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2012

    Gr 5-8-Through the help of an aid organization, 13-year-old Rabia escapes the violence of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with her mother and brother and finds herself headed toward a new life in America, on an airplane with the unfortunate arrival date of September 11, 2001. After the attacks on the World Trade Center, U.S. air space is closed, and the plane, along with dozens of other flights, is diverted to Newfoundland. While Rabia ultimately reaches her California destination, the book centers on her time in Gander, where she encounters both the kindness of the local community, who rally around the stranded passengers, and the anti-Muslim sentiment of Colin, an American boy on her flight. As Rabia is clearly the protagonist, the chapter-to-chapter perspective shift seems unnecessary, and some of the added personal drama is overdone (Rabia's mother suffers a heart attack and is rushed to a hospital, and Colin grapples with the possibility of his parents' divorce). Additionally, Walsh's characters have moments of slipping into cultural stereotypes that seem a little too easy. The book's strength lies in the importance of the Afghani perspective, as well as in the explanation of the little-covered circumstances of travelers diverted to Newfoundland on 9/11. The narrative is compelling, and readers will find themselves rooting for Rabia's life to take a happier turn. This novel helps broaden the experiences covered in the small coterie of 9/11 books and will appeal to readers looking for information about that event, as well as those interested in books that include a South Asian voice.Joanna Sondheim, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Second Story Press
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Alice Walsh
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