Tag Archives: Adib Khorram

My Cybils Nominees

4 Jan

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I was thrilled the first time one of my Cybils nominees made it to the finalists list. This year, I had five nominees make it to the second round of judging.

In the Easy Reader category – one of my favorite books of the year:
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin.

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In the Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels category:
The Cardboard Kingdom  by Chad Sell

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In the Junior High Nonfiction category:
Spooked: How a Radio Broadcast and the War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America  by Gail Jarrow

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In the Senior High Nonfiction category:
Votes for Women! American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling

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In the Young Adult Fiction category – one of my favorite YA books of the year:
Darius the Great is Not Okay  by Adib Khorram

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2019 Morris Award Finalists Announced!

12 Dec

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first given in 2009, honors a book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.  The winner is announced annually at the ALA Youth Media Awards with a shortlist of up to five titles named in early December.

For the first time ever, I have already read all of the Morris Award finalists before they were announced. Here they are:

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  • Blood Water Paint written by Joy McCullough
  • Check, Please! written and illustrated by Ngozi Ukazu
  • Children of Blood and Bone written by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay written by Adib Khorram
  • What the Night Sings written and illustrated by Vesper Stamper

They are all fantastic books, but my heart is leaning towards Darius the Great Is Not Okay. But I’d also love to see Blood, Water, Paint,  a novel in verse, win. It is hard to know what the discussion about these five, very different books will be like, or say who will win. I will be at the Youth Media Awards in Seattle when the winner is announced on Monday, January 28th. I will also attend the awards presentation afterwards to celebrate  all five finalists and whichever book wins. You can read more about each book on YALSA”S Morris Award page.

Stay tuned the Nonfiction finalists should be announced soon.

 

 

Darius is great

10 Sep

This weekend, I read Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram.

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It was a perfect read for a weekend. I got lost on Darius’ world of bullying in an American high school and getting to know his extended family in Iran.

Publisher’s Summary: Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian—half, his mom’s side—and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life.

Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab.

There is so much I like about this book. First, of course, is Darius. He felt very real. In his afterward, Khorram talks about living with depression that is a very real part of a person’s everyday life, but is well-managed, and he has portrayed that extremely well in Darius. It isn’t an issue book about depression, but it really points out the realities of people who live with depression in a way I have never seen before.

Next is Yazd. The city of Darius’ family is a really a character in the book. I am the kind of nerdy reader who Googles as she reads. I looked up all the places Darius visited so I could understand what he was seeing.

Finally, there is Sohrab. What a beautiful friend. We should all strive to be as good a friend as he is.

Darius the Great is Not Okay lingered with me after I finished reading it – and that is a sign of a really good read.

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