Parents' Guide to

Shooting Kabul

By Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Life and 9/11 through lens of 11-year-old Afghan immigrant.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+

Introduction to Culture

I personally think that there are few better ways, if any, to reasonably introduce a child to other cultures than to have them "live" through the eyes of a character in a book. There is and has been a lot in the media about the US withdrawl from the Middle East and the Taliban's resurgence. There are refugees entering the country to escape this influence. We have a congress woman who has received negative messages based on her ancestry and religion. These are issues that are well beyond the conception of many of our younger children. So, how do we help our children understand what some adults barely understand themselves? I think this book is a good start. It is written through the eyes of a middle school aged child who is a refugee to America. It's his and his family's personal experiences and, I think, can help start the conversation and provide a light for children of other cultures. I recommend it.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 11+
i personally think that the story is wonderful. the fact that it ties around truly based events makes it ten times better. its a story filled with many breath taking moments. other then that it shows the importance of your family and how much they care for you.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (5):

This first novel tells a stirring story, which is gripping and engaging on several levels. From the terror of a narrow midnight escape from the Taliban, and the tragic loss of the youngest child, to the final resolution of the story, the action moves through so many ups and downs, some of which are world events, others more personal. Along the way, pertinent facts about Afghanistan and the immigrant experience are mixed in. Readers will be drawn in by it all, especially by the characters of Fadi, his family, and friends. They are very human, yet amazingly honorable and thoughtful people.

Readers of all ages will gain sensitive insight into the hardships immigrants experience in their daily lives, especially those seeking asylum from oppressive cultures. And, they will be reminded of how the 9/11 terrorist attacks made the lives of Muslim immigrants even harder. But middle-grade readers, in particular, will relate to Fadi as an 11-year-old trying to fit in. Not only has he come from a very different world, carrying a terrible secret and guilt, but he also has the usual anxieties and difficulties of any "new kid," and almost immediately he is the target of two school bullies. The hopeful message is that he finds solace and hope in his family and good friends as well as in his photography, and he makes honorable choices even in the most rugged situations. Though the characters, language, and even the plot are a bit stiff at times, that message alone makes this is a book everyone should read.

Book Details

  • Author: N.H. Senzai
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Paula Wiseman
  • Publication date: July 12, 2011
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 288
  • Last updated: November 5, 2020

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