Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga is poetic and powerful. The book is written in first-person, free-verse and is divided into five sections that narrate the journey of Jude, our main character, who is a young Syrian refugee.
This book is captivating because it gives the reader a glimpse into the family’s life before and after the war began in Syria. It does a wonderful job exploring the transformations the entire family takes after the war has started and how they adjust to their new home and culture in the U.S.
Not to mention the strength it takes for anyone who is a refugee or immigrant to move to a new country and the dynamics and differences between first and second-generation immigrants.
Jude is an inspiring and remarkable young girl who is discovering who she is, where she belongs and what it means to be brave. This book is intended for middle school readers, but the topics and themes within the book would make it informative for teens and adults.
The themes presented in the book include: war, corruption, English as a Second Language (ESL), first and second-generation immigrants, refugees in American society, labels, home, family, prejudice against Muslims and belonging.
This title is suitable, and primarily geared toward, youth aged 8 - 12 and is a perfect suggestion for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed.