Review for Other Words for Home
I’m starting to think,
might be the bravest thing a person can do.”
A gorgeous wonderful poetry book about a girl who, with her mom, moves to the US to her mom’s brother for safety.
Sorry if this is a bit chaotic. I am still sick + tired + this book was just TOO good.
In the first part of the book we meet with Jude, read about her family and how they live in Syria. How their lives are pretty ordinary.. at least where they are living. But slowly change is coming. And it isn’t a good change. War and pain is coming their way. People who are against things are being rounded and thrown into jail. We see how Jude’s brother is one of the people who want change. Who want things to be better for everyone. We see the worry in the family as things escalate.
And then when things aren’t safe, Jude is taken by her mom to the US. To live their safely. Not just for her, but also for her unborn sibling. Yep, her mom is pregnant. I could imagine that she strongly wants a safe space to have her kids grow up. I was sad for both Jude and her mom when her dad and her brother stayed behind. Her father wants to man the store no matter what, and her brother wants to make change happen and doesn’t want to leave for safety.
We see the first weeks in the US. How the language is weird, how the people dress differently, how it isn’t easy to adapt, how her niece is a piece of work, how her uncle is almost never around, how her aunt tries her best to make her and her mom feel at home. It was quite interesting to read about it and see how Jude was trying to find her place. To make friends. To learn a brand-new language. She was so brave, and I just adored Jude.
At first she is without a scarf (sorry, I just don’t know the word for it at the moment), but then an event happens and I just loved how she picked the most gorgeous scarf her friend picked for her in Syria and how she wore it proudly.
However whereas things go right at first… things go not so well when a terrorist action happens in the US (not near Jude), and people start treating people who are Muslim. Even before that btw we saw that people just didn’t get that people wore scarves/fabric on their head on their own free will. I can kind of understand those people, but I can’t understand why you would go to someone and tell them they don’t have to wear it. You don’t know the circumstances. You don’t know if this person wears it from their own free will or not.
But after the attack we see some urgh things happening. Someone close to Jude has her family restaurant smeared. She gets comments from people on the street. People stare at her.
Yet she is determined to keep going. I loved the response from the community and to see what Jude’s mom planned.
I also loved seeing how Jude’s mom went to classes, how she found a place to belong, how she made friends. It just made me so happy that she didn’t stay in, instead she went to find and make a new world around herself.
There is some more stuff that is happening and it was all wonderfully written. I loved that this book is in verse/poetry, it made the whole experience even better and more personal. I am still not always a fan of poetry/verse, but this one worked perfectly.
I could talk about this book forever. It was just that good and I would highly recommend it to all!