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Parents' Guide to

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Relatable story of Iranian girl in U.S. who wants to fit in.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (5 ):

The 1979 revolution in Iran may seem like ancient history to middle schoolers today, but this amiable novel makes that tense, world-changing event real and -- most importantly -- relatable. Author Firoozeh Dumas draws on her own childhood for IT AIN'T SO AWFUL, FALAFEL, and she captures the spirit and voice of a young girl whose normal middle school anxieties are deepened by a sometimes unbridgeable gulf between her and her very American peers.

Cindy and her family are the emotional core of the story: Cindy's friends, though kind and steadfast, are barely developed. Her girlfriends and kindly neighbors are primarily used to prop up dialogue explaining developments in Iran. Dumas clearly describes the cultural and political changes in Iran and the nation's complicated history with the U.S., and she affectingly portrays the countless ways newcomers to America can struggle to feel at home. It raises issues about the immigrant experience that still resonate today.

Book Details

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