Ask Me No Questions

Ask Me No Questions

by Marina Budhos


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"You forget. You forget you don't really exist here, that this isn't your home."

Since emigrating from Bangladesh, fourteen-year-old Nadira and her family have been living in New York City on expired visas, hoping to realize their dream of becoming legal U.S. citizens. But after 9/11, everything changes. Suddenly being Muslim means you are dangerous — a suspected terrorist.

When Nadira's father is arrested and detained at the U.S.-Canadian border, Nadira and her older sister, Aisha, are told to carry on as if everything is the same. The teachers at Flushing High don't ask any questions, but Aisha falls apart. Nothing matters to her anymore — not even college.

It's up to Nadira to be the strong one and bring her family back together again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416949206
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 09/11/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 417,344
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Marina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Her most recent novel is Watched, which received an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature YA Honor and a Walter Award Honor. Her other novels include Tell Us We’re Home, a 2017 Essex County YA Pick; Ask Me No Questions, a recipient of the James Cook Teen Book Award; The Professor of Light; House of Waiting; and the nonfiction book Remix: Conversations with Immigrant Teenagers. With her husband Marc Aronson, she is the coauthor of Eyes of the World: Robert Capa & Gerda Taro & The Invention of Modern Photojournalism and Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom & Science, a 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist. Budhos has been a Fulbright Scholar to India, received two Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and is a professor of English at William Paterson University. You can visit her online at

Read an Excerpt

Ask Me No Questions

By Marina Budhos


Copyright © 2006 Marina Budhos
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1416903518

Chapter One

We drive as if in a dream.

Up I-95, past the Triborough Bridge, chunks of black ice floating in the East River. Me and Aisha hunched in the back, a green airline bag wedged between us filled with Ma's luchis and spiced potatoes. Abba in the front, clutching the steering wheel, Ma hunched against the rattling door.

We keep driving even as snowflakes clump on the wipers, and poor Abba can barely see. Coconut flakes, Ma jokes. We'll go outside and scoop them up, and I'll make you some polao. But the jokes lie still in our throats.

Up the East Coast, past all these places I've seen only in maps: Greenwich, New Haven, Providence, Rhode Island. Hour after hour, snow slanting down. And in my head, words keep drumming: Special Registration. Deportation. Green card. Residency. Asylum. We live our lives by these words, but I don't understand them. All I know is we're driving straight through to that squiggle of a line on the map, the Canadian border, to apply for asylum.

Unspoken questions also thud in our minds. What happens if we get stopped and they see Abba's expired license? Should Ma wear slacks and a sweater so she doesn't stand out so much? Should Aisha drive, even though it's supposed to be a secret thatshe knows how? We ask some of these questions out loud, and others we signal through our eyes.

When we reach Boston, Aisha wakes up and starts to cry. That's where she hoped she'd live one day. Aisha always knew that she wanted to be a doctor going to Harvard Medical School. Even back in Dhaka she could ace her science and math exams, and when Abba was in Saudi Arabia working as a driver, he used to tape her reports to his windshield and boast about his daughter back home who could outdo all the boys. In those days Abba wasn't afraid, not of anything, not even the men who clucked and said Aisha would be too educated to find a husband, or the friends who worried that he'd be stuck with me, his fat and dreamy second daughter. Sometimes I hate being the one who always has to trail after Aisha. But sometimes it feels safe. I'm nestled in the back, not seen.

Ma pats Aisha on the hand. "Don't worry," she whispers. "All this, it's just for a while. We'll get you in to a university in Canada."

"McGill!" Abba booms from the front seat. "A top-rate school!"

"It's too cold!" I complain.

Aisha kicks me. "Shut up," she hisses, then speaks softly to my father's back. "Whatever you say, Abba."

Aisha and I, we never hit it off, really. She's the quick one, the one with a flashing temper whom Abba treats like a firstborn son, while I'm the slow-wit second-born who just follows along. Sometimes I think Abba is a little afraid of Aisha. It's like she always knew what she wanted, and he was put on this earth to answer her commands. Back in Dhaka when Abba wasn't sure about going to America, she cut out an article and put it in his lap: a story about a Bangladeshi girl who'd graduated top of her class in economics and now worked for the World Bank.

"We may be one of the poorest countries in the world," she told Abba. "But we're the richest in brains."

Abba laughed then. Where did an eight-year-old learn to say such things?

That's the way it always was. Oh, did you hear what the teacher said about Aisha today? "Your sister!" The other girls would whisper to me. "She's different." But what kills me is that Aisha always says the right thing. She asks Ma if she's low on mustard oil for cooking, or Abba if he asked the doctor about the better ointment for his joints.

It's hard to have a sister who is perfect.

In Portland, Maine, Abba pulls into a gas station. He looks terrible: Dark circles bag around his eyes. He's wearing one of his favorite sweater vests, but after ten hours on the road it looks lumpy and pulled. Ma scrambles out of the car to use the bathroom. As she pushes across the station, I notice the pale bottom of her shalwar kameez flutter up around her jacket. She presses it down, embarrassed. The attendant is staring at her, the gas pump still in his hand. He's Sikh, with soft, almond shaped eyes, and he smiles at her sweetly, as if he understands, and Ma gets up her nerve and pushes inside the metal door.

After, she takes one look at the two of us and says softly, "We need to stop for some food. These poor girls, they look faint."

When we go inside the small diner, Ma looks funny sitting in the booth, drawing her cardigan across her chest, touching her palms to the ends of her hair. Even though Aisha and I hang out at Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's all the time, my family rarely goes out to restaurants. Ma's always afraid that they'll ask her something and the English words won't come out right. Now she glances around nervously, as if she expects someone to tap us on the shoulders and tell us to leave. "What if they say no at the border?" she whispers. "What if Canada turns us down?"

Abba sighs, wearily rubbing his eyes. "It could happen. No one guarantees asylum."

We've been over this again and again. We know the risks. If Canada turns us down for asylum, we have to go back across the American border, and Abba will probably be arrested because our visas to America have long since run out. And then we don't know what could happen. Maybe one day we will get U.S. residency. Or maybe we'll just be sent back to Bangladesh. But maybe -- just maybe -- Canada will let us in.

Abba continues, "Look, Aisha has to begin university in the fall. This is for the best." But he doesn't sound so sure.

Aisha leans her head on Ma's shoulder, her frizzy hair falling in a tumble over her cheeks. "Don't worry, Ma. It'll be okay. We'll get to Toronto and you'll open your restaurant, right?"

A little burn of envy sears right through me. I don't know how Aisha does it, but she always cheers up my parents. Ma and Aisha look a lot alike: They're both fair skinned and thin, and they're these incredible mimics. Ma's always picking things up from TV, where she's learned most of her English.

"Abba, why don't you tell us a story?" Aisha asks.

Abba sits back, his fingers resting lightly on the Formica tabletop, his face relaxed.

I should have asked that. After all, it's usually me who sits around with the elders listening to their stories. Nights when Aisha's in her room studying, I'll sit curled next to Abba and Ma, my head against their legs, and they'll tell me about Bangladesh and our family. Even though we left when I was seven, sometimes if I close my eyes, it's as if I were right there. I remember the boroi tree outside our house, the stone wall where Ma slapped the wash dry, the metal cabinet where Abba kept his schoolbooks. Abba carries his stories carefully inside him, like precious glass he cradles next to his heart.

"I'll tell you about the stationery."

We all grin. We've heard this story before, but it's comforting -- like sinking into the dense print of one of the old books Abba brought with him from Bangladesh.

"Your great-grandfather used to work as a printer. When he was old and ready to return to our village, the man he worked for gave him a box of the best stationery with his own name printed across the top. Grandfather used to keep that stationery in a special box with a lock. Even when he was old and blind, sometimes he brought it out, and we children would run our fingers over the raised print. Grandfather never wrote anyone with those pages. Who was he going to write to on that fine stationery with the curvy English print?

"After I saw your mother, I wanted to impress her. So I sneaked into my grandfather's room, and I stole a sheet of paper, used my best inkwell and pen, and copied out a beautiful poem. When Grandfather found out, he was furious!"

"Were you punished?" I ask.

Abba nods. "I was, and rightly so. Not only did I deceive my grandfather, but I was not off to a very good start with your mother! She thought I was a rich man who could write poetry. But I was only a poor student who could copy from books." He glances over at Ma. "And I'm still a poor man!"

"Hush," Ma scolds. But I can see she is pleased. She looks gratefully at Aisha, and my stomach twists with jealousy.

"Are you done with those?" I ask, pointing to the last of my sister's fries.

Her nose wrinkles. "No, greedy girl." And she pops the rest into her mouth.

I remember when we first arrived at the airport in New York, how tight my mother's hand felt in mine. How her mouth became stiff when the uniformed man split open the packing tape around our suitcase and plunged his hands into her underwear and saris, making us feel dirty inside. Abba's leg was jiggling a little, which is what it does when he's nervous. Even then we were afraid because we knew we were going to stay past the date on the little blue stamp of the tourist visa in our passports. Everyone does it. You buy a fake social security number for a few hundred dollars and then you can work. A lot of the Bangladeshis here are illegal, they say. Some get lucky and win the Diversity Lottery so they can stay.

Once we got here, Abba worked all kinds of jobs. He sold candied nuts from a cart on the streets of Manhattan. He worked on a construction crew until he smashed his kneecap. He swabbed down lunch counters, mopped a factory floor, bussed dishes in restaurants, delivered hot pizzas in thick silver nylon bags. Then Abba began working as a waiter in a restaurant on East Sixth Street in Manhattan. Sixth Street is lined with Indian restaurants, each a narrow basement room painted in bright colors and strung with lights with some guy playing sitar in the window. They're run by Bangladeshis, but they serve all the same Indian food, chicken tandoori and biryani, that the Americans like. Every night Abba brought home wads of dollars that Ma collected in a silk bag she bought in Chinatown.

The thing is, we've always lived this way -- floating, not sure where we belong. In the beginning we lived so that we could pack up any day, fold up all our belongings into the same nylon suitcases. Then, over time, Abba relaxed. We bought things. A fold-out sofa where Ma and Abba could sleep. A TV and a VCR. A table and a rice cooker. Yellow ruffle curtains and clay pots for the chili peppers. A pine bookcase for Aisha's math and chemistry books. Soon it was like we were living in a dream of a home. Year after year we went on, not thinking about Abba's expired passport in the dresser drawer, or how the heat and the phone bills were in a second cousin's name. You forget. You forget you don't really exist here, that this really isn't your home. One day, we said, we'd get the paperwork right. In the meantime we kept going. It happens. All the time.

Even after September 11, we carried on. We heard about how bad it had gotten. Friends of my parents had lost their jobs or couldn't make money, and they were thinking of going back, though, like my father, they'd sold their houses in Bangladesh and had nothing to go back to. We heard about a man who had one side of his face bashed in, and another who was run off the road in his taxi and called bad names. Still people kept coming for pooris and alu gobi on Sixth Street; still Abba emptied his pockets every night into Ma's silk bag. Abba used to say, "In a bad economy, people want cheap food. Especially cheap food with chili peppers that warms their bellies."

But things got worse. We began to feel as if the air had frozen around us, trapping us between two jagged ice floes. Each bit of news was like a piece of hail flung at us, stinging our skins. Homeland Security. Patriot Act. Code Orange. Special Registration. Names, so many names of Muslims called up on the rosters. Abba had a friend who disappeared to a prison cell in New Jersey. We heard of hundreds of deported Iranians from California and others from Brooklyn, Texas, upstate New York. We watched the news of the war and saw ourselves as others saw us: dark, flitting shadows, grenades blooming in our fists. Dangerous.

Then one day my cousin Taslima's American boyfriend came over and explained the new special registration law: Every man over eighteen from certain Muslim countries had to register. Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Pakistan, Bangladesh. Some did, and were thrown in jail or kicked out of the country. More and more we heard about the people fleeing to Canada and applying for asylum there, instead of going into detainment. Abba's friends came over in twos and threes. Ma served them sweets and doodh-cha -- milky tea -- and they'd talk. About starting again in the cold country up north. A new life. The Canadians are friendly, they liked to say.

"There comes a time," Abba said grimly, "when the writing is right there on the wall. Why should we wait for them to kick us out?" He added, "I want to live in a place where I can hold my head up."

One evening Abba came into our bedroom, a quiet, sad look on his face. "Take that down," he said to Aisha. He was pointing to her Britney Spears poster, the only one she was allowed. Ma opened the closets and folded all her saris and shalwar kameezes into the nylon suitcases we used when we came here. We could tell no one -- not even our best friends at school -- what we were doing.

Abba asked me to bring out my map of the northeast. After I laid the map open on the dining table, Abba showed us the thick arteries of highways, the spidery blue line of the border. "There," he said. "We have to go there and apply for asylum."

I swallowed, my throat very dry. What happens if they don't let us in? I kept thinking.

The next morning we woke to a scraping and coughing noise and saw the blue Honda by the curb.

Copyright 2006 by Marina Budhos


Excerpted from Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos Copyright © 2006 by Marina Budhos. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Ask Me No Questions 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Nicholas Alfonso More than 1 year ago
The book ASK ME NO QUESTIONS was very slow at the begining of the book but after the climax it got more interesting. Also the book was very hard to follow because before the climax, randomly something happens and I have to turn back at least three pages to finally understand what happend. The only reason why I read this book was because my school made me read it over the summer so I can discuss questions about the book. If I did not have to read this book over the summer and stumbled across this book myself, I would have to think hard about buying this book even after reading the sample. Overall, this was a okay book because it has a lot of meaning in it. I would still think twice before buying this book and make sure to read the sample FIRST even if you want to buy this book. If you buy the book I hope you will enjoy it.
sp13 More than 1 year ago
Ask Me No Questions was an alright book. It was slow at the beginning , but until it gets to the climax it get s more interesting. Personally I really don't like to read but it really has a good plot on it. Reading this book has made an impact on how I look at and judge other people. It has given me an understanding of what other people could be dealing with, and that I should be very fortune to have the life that I have. Marina Budhos has successfully mastered creating an amazing novel that will have you on the edge of your seat as you turn each page. It was a quick and wonderful read. Another message is that the story is about citizenship and rights in a country, something we all take for granted. In the book, I really liked the characters because they all have very distinct personalities and they are very realistic. I would recommend this story because it gives the perspective of someone you don't usually hear about, and it was very interesting to read. Overall, Ask Me No Questions is a interesting book to read.
MandoS2014 More than 1 year ago
Ask Me No Questions, written by Marina Budhos is a truly phenomenal story, which tells of the obstacles a fourteen-year-old, Bangladesh girl Nadira, must overcome. When her family tries to apply for an asylum in Canadian, fear and hope of a new beginning dwell in their minds, but due to their expired visas, Nadira's father is put in custody, and detained at the U.S. and Canadian border. Her mother is sent to stay away from her children, and Nadira and her sister, Aisha, are told to go about their normal lives as nothing has happened. Emotionally broken, Aisha can't keep herself together, and falls apart, forcing Nadira to be the strong one to keep her family going. This extraordinarily, written book expresses every pain, feeling, and fear that Nadira acquires over this period of time; being the one to unite her family once again, and keep them together. Reading this book has made an impact on how I look at and judge other people. It has given me an understanding of what other people could be dealing with, and that I should be very fortune to have the life that I have. Marina Budhos has proficiently mastered creating an amazing novel that will have you on the edge of your seat as you turn each page. It was a quick and wonderful read.
CarlyJH More than 1 year ago
In Ask Me No Questions I thought the author had a good main point but it was a bit boring in my opinion. The story starts out as Nadira and her family flees to the Canadian border running from their home which is Bangladesh. For years they have lived on expired visas in New York City, hoping they could someday become legal citizens of the United States. But after 9/11 everything changes. That's when being Muslim started to mean being dangerous or a suspected terrorist. And when Nadira's father is arrested and detained at the border, Nadira and her older sister, Aisha, are sent back to Queens and told to carry on, as if everything is the same. Eventually they have to tell everyone who they really are, illegal aliens. As I read the book it kind of dragged on and I really just wanted to stop reading it, but in the end everything came together. I took me a while to read even though it is such a small book so I wouldn't recommend this to people who are looking for a suspenseful quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ask Me No Questions, written by Marina Budhos, is a thrilling book. Published by Atheneum books for young readers in 2006, this book tells a story about illegal aliens. Even though this book is a work of fiction, it is based on the government's actions after September 11, 2001. Nadira tells an interesting and emotionally moving story. Told through the eyes of Nadira, the youngest daughter, Ask Me No Questions is very detailed about the steps taken to becoming a legal citizen. Fleeing to the Canadian border, only to be detained, this family became suspected terrorists. After her father got arrested, the family had to find a way to deal with it. At this point in the novel, it becomes very emotional for the family. Just as in Marina Budhos other book, Remix: Conversations with Immigrant Teenagers, she goes in depth about how to become legal. After many twists and turns, most for the worst, this book ends like one wouldn't believe. A true page turner, this novel is a great book for a person of any age. It grabs the attention of the reader right from the first chapter. This novel really opened my eyes about the real world stereo typing. I would rate it 4 out of 5 green cards.
lrobe190 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s hard to be a teenager¿trying to fit in with the crowd while also trying to figure out who you are and what you want to be. But when you are seemingly invisible to the society around you, it¿s a lot more complicated.High school students Nadira and Aisha are immigrants from Bangladesh. They have lived in NewYork City since they were young children surrounded by friends and family. Their father (Abba) has been working with a lawyer to acquire the papers to become legal, but for now the family is living on expired visas. Their status as illegal aliens is not a problem, really, until September 11, 2001 when everything changes! Muslims are now targets for harassment and having proper papers is crucial to avoid deportation or even imprisonment! The family tries to flee to Canada where they hope to receive asylum. Unfortunately, when they reach Canada, they are turned away due to the huge numbers of people also seeking asylum. When they try to re-enter the U.S., they are stopped. Abba is led away for questioning and Ma must stay in a Salvation Army shelter in order to be close to him. Nadira and Aisha are sent back to New York City where they are told to stay with an Aunt and Uncle and go to school as if nothing has happened until the situation is straightened out.Aisha is a senior in high school and has always been the smart and pretty one. Her grades place her in the top of her class. She is a member of the varsity debate team and she has been nominated to be valedictorian of her class. Aisha has always been sure to fit in with those around her. She wears the right clothes, listens to the right music and has the right friends. She is the ¿star¿of the family who will go to college and be someone rich and important someday. Nadira is quiet and a little chubby. She must work for her grades and she has always been outshone by Aisha. But suddenly, Aisha stops trying. She skips classes, misses the championship debate meet and even misses her entrance interview with Barnard College. She believes that it¿s not worth trying anymore since they will probably be deported anyway. Now it¿s up to Nadira to come up with a plan to save the family.Budhos has written a compelling story that humanizes the situation experienced by Muslims right after 9/11. The title, ¿Ask Me No Questions¿ refers to the fact that illegal aliens often live and work in a community with the full knowledge of its citizens. No one asks for their paperwork, so they don¿t have to worry about producing it. In the climate of fear after 9/11 many Muslims were suspected of being terrorists and the need to have proper documentation was critical. In this book, Nadira and Aisha have lived in New York for years with no problem. As far as they are concerned, they are Americans. Suddenly everything they have come to expect about their future is in question. Because the story is told through Nadira¿s eyes, the reader experiences her confusion and fear first hand.Much of young adult literature focuses on teens ¿coming of age¿ and ¿finding their place in the world¿. Budhos has created a story of two teens who experience all of that and more. Readers are provided with insight into a problem experienced by more teens than we might imagine. This is a thought-provoking and eye-opening book to which teens and adults can relate.
beckykolacki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great because it hits pretty close to home and it¿s very meaningful. It was easier to see that Nadira and her sister were just regular teenagers like we were, or like the students that we will be teaching, and their friends. They got used to thinking of themselves as Americans, with Aisha believing she can even go to college. As a reader, I found it easier to imagine myself in Nadira¿s place than some other multicultural books I have read. I think this would be a great book for teenagers to read because it¿s an eye opener. As sad as it is, ever since the 9/11 attacks I know that many people do have certain stereotypes of Muslims, just because of their culture. This book lets you see what these people might really be like. It also showed me just how hard things were for them because of what happened. We like to think that the United States is a fair, civil country, but both Nadira¿s father and her uncle were taken to jail ¿ and came back looking much the worse for wear. They don¿t specifically say what happened to them while they were in jail, but it seems pretty clear that some sort of abuse was going on. We¿d all like to think that wouldn¿t happen in the United States, but sometimes it does.As far as authenticity, again, I don¿t know the culture well myself so it¿s hard for me to say. However, I do feel that the characters were all just portrayed as real people, that might say or do the same things that we would. In that regard, I thought the book did an excellent job in avoiding stereotypes. It still showed that they are different in some ways though, such as how they live their life, and what their beliefs are. I also just thought it was an exciting, intriguing book as a whole. There was a lot of mystery and suspense about what would happen, which made it a good read. There were also some interesting moral and ethical questions posed or implied, which gives you something to think about and would also be great for use in a classroom discussion.
ajterry24 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5PSelected passage: "He placed his plam at the back of my neck and pushed my face down into the bright blue wavelets. Water shot down my throat in a burning spike. I began to sputter and gasp, thrashing my arms t him. Gently, Abba lifted my head up, wiped the salty tears and chlorinated water from my cheeks, then prodded me down again. I squirmed, I cried, but Abba stayed good humored, his hand firm on my neck. Down into the water, again and again. Until I learned how to hold my breath at the back of my throat. How to be slow and patient, let the air out bit by bit in a chain of bubbles. I began to stay down longer, kicking past the tangle of legs and droopy suits. I swam right past them feeling the steady push of my father's hand on my head. By the end of the summer I could swim the whole length of the pool underwater." p. 115
LisaMcG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
3P"I like staying quiet and still, taking in the words of the grown ups. Only sometimes it feels lonely being this way, as if their voices are turning me to heavy stone. Sometimes I wish I could lift out of myself and do something that really counts." p41"We're not the only illegals at our school. We're everywhere. You just have to look. A lot of the kids here were born elsewhere - Korea, China, India, the Dominican Republic. You can't tell which ones aren't legal. We try to get lost in the landscape of backpacks and book reports. To find us you have to pick up the signals. It might be in class when a teacher asks a personal question, and a kid gets this funny, pinched look in his eyes. Or some girl doesn't want to give her address to the counselor. We all agree not to notice." p29
Chloebats on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
P: 4And then she finds it: A purple coat with large, glossy black buttons and a huge flap of a collar. When Ma puts it on, the coat flares around her hips like a tent. She swirls around in front of the dirty mirror, laughing.
GaylDasherSmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great insight into what 9-11 did to the mideast immigrants in our country. They were caught in a no man's land. The author captures the feelings of fear and how various people cope with that.
BooksByLinda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nadira and Aisha, two sisters from Bangladesh, try to survive in New York City after their father is detained after having lived too long on an expired visa. This post 9/11 setting shows the struggles of Muslim immigrants who face extreme scrutiny in America.
ShaneCasebeer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4Q 3PQuote: You're on the road with your sister, and your father is in INS detention, and your ma is sleeping on a shelter cot, and you figure maybe the two of you have a lot to talk about. You don't. (p. 24)
edspicer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
High school and even middle school government and history classes will discover that Ask Me No Questions will inspire a whole host of questions and discussion issues. Budhos has constructed a story that ties together our post 9-11 fears, our treatment of Muslim people, and our anxiety over immigration policies. Nadira Hossain and her family come from Bangladesh. They are living illegally in New York City. Although the Hossains are a good, productive family, they are caught up in the registration web spun by the Patriot Act. When the family decides to flee to Canada, Nadira¿s father is arrested. Despite the fact that Nadira is not as brilliant as her sister, Alisha, she assumes the responsibility for saving her family. Recommended for middle school and high school libraries.
scottpalmo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book was interesting to learn about a family that wanted so badly to stay in the United States and to send their daughters to college during a difficult time (9/11). I liked the book enough to read, but I don't think I will be reading it again, 9/11 brings back to many bad memories.
ShellyPYA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nadira and her family moved to New York from Bangladesh to live a better life. After their visas expired, they always intended on becoming legal residents, but never made it official. Then 9-11 happened and they flee to Canad, hoping for asylum. But they are detained at the border and their father is imprisoned. He sends Nadira and her sister back to New York to continue going to school until he can work things out. Living with her aunt and uncle, Nadira learns what it means to be a part of her family and an American.
jeannie.tucker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4Q, 3PThis book offers a perspective I'd never fully explored before. The story of this family was fascinating, and the writing was beautiful. I wonder, though, whether teens now would fully grasp the importance of the time in which this book is set. They might have been too young to remember a lot of the background (i.e. September 11, and the backlash against the Muslim community in New York and in the United States in general).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is terrible. The characters are under-developed, and the plot is terrible. The book starts off slow, as do most books, so I had hope in this book. AND I WAS WRONG. This book only got slower. In the middle of the book, I was like, "Well maybe it will have an amazing ending that will blow me away" NO. I WAS WRONG AGAIN. This book only got worse. Don't be like me. Don't give this book hope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No way this book could ever be nominated for anything. The characters are sketchy, and under developed. There is no real imax to the story, and there are many spelling and grammer errors. And lastly, there is a friend who is mentioned once or twice, says somthing about something happening in her family, and you never hear from her again. I absolutely hated this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago