Author(s): Suzanne Fisher Staples
An outstanding novel exploring the relationship between a young American woman and a refugee girl. Northern Afghanistan, 2001. When the Taliban takes her brother and father to be soldiers and the bombing of her tiny village kills her mother and baby brother, Najmah makes a dangerous journey over the mountains to Pakistan. Here she meets Elaine, an American woman waiting for her doctor husband to return from the front. Najmah joins Elaine's refugee school under the persimmon tree, until, sure that both their families are dead, Elaine tries to persuade her to go to America. But when Najmah's brother arrives at the school, still alive, she bravely decides to return with him to the village of their birth.
Suzanne Fisher Staples is a former United Press International news reporter who has worked in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. She is the award-winning author of many acclaimed books for young readers set in south Asia and the Middle East, including Shiva's Fire and The Green Dog. She lives in Pennsylvania, USA.