Away from Home: Afghanistan

During the holidays, we think of family and friends, especially those in the armed services, who are away from home. During the months of November and December, the Palisades Library is displaying adult, teen and children's books about Afghanistan. Rory Stewart's adult book The Places in Between will be discussed at the Speak Easy Salon on December 16 at 3:30 p.m.  Stewart describes his walk across the breadth of the country. His choice to travel solo without any provisions made his survival dependent on strangers. This creates a chilling and suspenseful read.

There are two powerful books for teens about Afghanistan. One is a graphic travelogue To Afghanistan and Back drawn by cartoonist and war correspondent Ted Rall.  This is a "pulls no punches" look at combat. The other work, Come Back to Afghanistan, by Said Hyder Akbar and Susan Burton is the story of a 17-year-old California teen. Because his father was President Hamid Karzai's chief spokesman, Akbar was able to travel throughout his parents' homeland and write about his experiences during three successive summer vacations.  These books are recommended for youth ages 15 through 19.

Deborah Ellis, a noted children's book author, wrote the Breadwinner Trilogy, focusing on the struggles of young girls under the Taliban. Her novels The Breadwinner, Parvana's Journey and Mud City take place in Kabul and Peshawar, Pakistan. These novels will appeal to readers ages nine through 12.