Other Words for Home

Other Words for Home

Book - 2019
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A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed.

Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven't quite prepared her for starting school in the US--and her new label of "Middle Eastern," an identity she's never known before.

But this life also brings unexpected surprises--there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, most importantly, finding yourself.

Publisher: New York :, Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, c2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062747808
Branch Call Number: J WAR
Characteristics: 342 pages ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

CoreneBee Jun 28, 2019

Absolutely essential reading.

From the critics

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IndyPL_ShannonO Sep 21, 2019

The more books I read in verse the more I love them. Other Words for Home is a beautiful, lyrical story about a young Syrian girl named Jude who comes to live in America with her pregnant mother. Her father and brother remain in Syria. The story deals both with Jude's anxiety about what is happening in her homeland and her troubles with trying to fit into her new American life. I think this is a great book to introduce middle grade children to the kinds of conflicts happening in the Middle East as well as help teach kids of all backgrounds about the importance of empathy, tolerance, and acceptance - very vital topics, especially during our current troubling political climate.

ArapahoeKati Aug 22, 2019

Amazing! An incredibly moving novel, written in verse, about family, love, pride, xenophobia and courage. One of the best middle grade novels I've read this year.

Aug 12, 2019

I enjoyed the reality of this outstanding read. Jude is very brave and she never gives up.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Jul 28, 2019

This is beautifully written from start to finish, with a memorable main character and an incredibly important window into a cultural experience that is underrepresented in kids' books. Sad and uplifting and unforgettable.

Jul 24, 2019

amazing, we need more books like this

Tigard_HollyCP Jul 22, 2019

Jude and her mom and soon-to-be-born baby sister are refugees. When it starts to get more dangerous in Syria, Jude and her mom leave behind her beloved brother, father and best friend to go live with her uncle in the United States. It’s hard to fit in in a new country at a new school with a new language and even with her new-to-her family. It seems that people only see Jude as a refugee, but there is so much more to her, like her dream of being a famous actress. Despite discouragement by her only American friend and her not-so-supportive cousin, when she hears about the tryouts for the school musical, she auditions. Will she get a role? Will she ever hear from her best friend back in Syria? Will her brother survive the violence that he has risen against? So many questions. This novel in verse is a very important piece of work, and very well-done.

LPL_MaryW Jul 20, 2019

Jude is a Syrian girl who loves her family above all else. But when sparks of violence begin to ignite, she and her mother are whisked away to Cincinnati, leaving behind a working father and a brother joining the resistance. Heartbroken, Jude immerses into American life slowly. Just as she finds belonging does she also encounter womanhood, a transition she honors by donning a hijab. Jude faces prejudice, and even hatred, in her new home, but is determined to be brave like her brother. Amongst grief, love, and new life, Jude shines her light — so bright, she might just take center stage.

Jul 19, 2019

Simply beautiful and moving. Loved Jude and the story.

CoreneBee Jun 28, 2019

Absolutely essential reading.

Chapel_Hill_KarinM Jun 20, 2019

Beautiful novel in verse about a Syrian refugee in Cincinnati. So much rich detail about life in Syria and then adjusting to life in the US, this is both an important book and one that is a pleasure to read.


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"Sharing what you have does not make what you have worth any less"

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Aug 12, 2019

gpb101 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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