Words in the Dust

Words in the Dust

by Trent Reedy


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Winner of the Christopher Medal and a "heart-wrenching" Al Roker's Book Club selection on the Today Show.

Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her--"Inshallah," God willing.

Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to her village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha--but can she dare to hope they'll come true?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545261265
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/24/2013
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 219,380
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Trent Reedy is the author of WORDS IN THE DUST, winner of the Christopher Medal and an Al Roker's Book Club pick on the Today Show, and STEALING AIR. Trent and his wife live in Spokane, Washington. Please visit his website at www.trentreedy.com.

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Words in the Dust 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Soldier72 More than 1 year ago
As one of the lucky few to receive an advance copy of Trent's novel, I cannot recommend it enough. Not only is his story touching and beautifully told, but as someone who had the honor of serving with the author in the war in Afghanistan, it is painfully accurate in its portrayal of life in this windswept and tragic land. "Words in the Dust" is a fictional account of real life events. I hope and pray that this lovely story will touch the hearts of people around the world and help us all to realize the importance of helping the Afghan people to regain their place in the world as members of a proud, peaceful and prosperous society. Finally, I thank Trent for telling a story in a way many soldiers, such as myself, never could. I will always be proud to call him my friend.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
Most people want to be loved and accepted by others, in Trent Reedy's novel the protagonist wants to be "normal." Journey with the protagonist and learn the beauty of life when "outsiders" try to make changes to improve the world. This is an emotional tale that readers are sure to enjoy. "Words in the Dust," by Trent Reedy, is well written and has well developed characters with a fascinating storyline. It is sure to hold your attention and give you hope in miracles. A "burden" reveals the glory of human love in the hearts of many of the characters. **Glad to have read this novel, it's inspiring and insightful.
yearningtoread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this ARC copy of Words in the Dust from the Goodreads Firstreads giveaway program. Zulaikha lives in modern Afghanistan, when the Taliban have been brought down and the Americans are still making progress in her country. She lives with her Baba (father), her Madar (mother¿but not her birth mother), brothers and sister. Her father and older brother are welders and work hard to provide for the family. Zulaikha would live a very normal life¿except for one thing. Her mouth. Her ugly, cleft lip, her twisted teeth, and her disfigured nose. But then the Americans show up, offering a free surgery to fix Zulaikha¿s mouth. And her sister, Zeynab, might be married to a man of wealth and prestige. Could Zulaikha get the happy ending she and Zeynab had always dreamed about since their Madar-jan died? ______________________________________ I fell in love with this book from the opening words. Literally. ¿I traced the letters in the dust with my finger, spelling out my name: Zulaikha¿ But after that, the story blossoms into a whole world, the world of life in Afghanistan in the aftermath of a war, the world of an every-day-life Afghanistan family. The culture in this is so rich, the characters so well-developed, that you cannot help but believe that it is real. This is Trent Reedy¿s first novel, and he did a most excellent job. Telling from Zulaikha¿s perspective could have been hard, but Reedy was talented enough to pull it off with incredibly smooth writing, characters that grow, a setting that is so different, and hardships that almost everyone can relate to. Favorite character: It¿s a tie between the sisters, Zulaikha and Zeynab. I loved Meena for her part in Zulaikha¿s life; and even though I hated her guts, I thought the girls step-mother had a very important role. Favorite aspects: The way Zulaikha interacts with her family¿she is truly an amazing girl. And the way the reader watches Zulaikha grow is just beautiful¿ I honestly felt like I was growing with her, every step of the way. The poems were so beautiful and so was the way Zulaikha related to the characters in the poems. One word to sum this book up: I would have to say a few words: sweet, heartbreaking, and lovely. Trent Reedy really has pulled off something amazing here and I can¿t wait to see whose story he tells next! (This story was based off a girl named Zulaikha who the writer met while serving in Afghanistan who had a cleft lip. The Americans fixed it and he swore to her that he would tell her story¿ If that isn¿t a touching story, I don¿t know what is.) Recommended to ages 12 and up.
melaniehope on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Words in the Dust is the story of a young girl in Afghanistan who was born with a disfiguring cleft palate. Zulaikha's life is not easy. She is teased by the local village boys due to her appearance and dreams of looking normal like her pretty, older sister. She struggles to come to terms with her path in life. One day she meets an older woman, who begins to teach her to read and write and dream about a brighter future. When some American soldiers spot Zalaikha in the bazaar and say they can fix her lip for her, she really begins to believe in hope.The author, Trent Reedy was inspired by a girl he met during his tour of duty in Afghanistan, and Zulaikha's character is based loosely on her experiences. This is a wonderful YA novel that is appropriate for grades 5 and up. I thought the writing was beautiful, the story was full of hope and possibilities. I found the story realistic and was also pleased that the ending was not a fairy tale one. It made it that much more believable. I found myself really liking the character of Zulaikha and wondering how the "real" Zulaikha is faring.
SheilaCornelisse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A vivid depiction of the lives and struggles of Afghani women. The author has based much of this tale on his true experiences as a soldier in Afghanistan in 2005. Although thirteen-year-old Zulaika's story is fictional, the character and her surroundings are founded on real-life encounters.I was totally riveted to this book. Definitely a recommended read. Note that there is some mature content that may be disturbing to preteen readers.
DubaiReader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent Young Adult book on the subject of Afghanistan.I really enjoyed this book, even though I'm far from a Young Adult! It was tastefully written and the fact that the author was a soldier there made me feel gratified that people with such humanity are fighting the Afghan cause.Zulaikha is a young Afghani girl, marked for life with a hair-lip and crooked teeth that earn her the cruel name of 'Donkeyface'.She lives with her older sister, Zeynab, her 19 year old brother, Najib, and two younger brothers. Her own mother was killed by the Taliban and her father's second wife, Malehkah, now rules the household with a firm hand.The Taliban era is behind them and newly arrived American soldiers are promising to build a school in the area.The arrival of the soldiers brings very varied reactions from the members of the village, the young lads idolise them, young girls are warned away, and some of the villagers stand to gain financially from the future building work.Amidst this framework, life goes on for Zulaikha's family as her sister prepares for her wedding.This was well written, perfectly pitched for the target audience, and I would highly recommend it for all ages.
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
This book opened my eyes to several things. Much of it is based on actual people and occurrences. The story is told from the point of view of an Afghani girl with a cleft palate and a desire to attend school. Some parts are interesting looks into a culture different from mine. Other parts are heart breaking. It definitely made me appreciate being born in my country. Words in the Dust should be on your reading list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My moms friend wrote this book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book and this is my fave book!!!FOSHIZZLE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You almost got what vile ment in a way and she hit my head hard the same way you would knok on a door. Bvm