If A Young Patron Comes in to the Library Looking for a Humor Book That Can Also Make Them Cry… | Everything Sad is Untrue [REVIEW]

If A Young Patron Comes in to the Library Looking for a Humor Book That Can Also Make Them Cry… | Everything Sad is Untrue [REVIEW]

At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls “Daniel”) stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much.

But Khosrou’s stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment he, his mother, and sister fled Iran in the middle of the night, stretching all the way back to family tales set in the jasmine-scented city of Isfahan, the palaces of semi-ancient kings, and even the land of stories.

We bounce between a school bus of kids armed with paper clip missiles and spitballs, to the heroines and heroes of Kosrou’s family’s past, who ate pastries that made them weep, and touched carpets woven with precious gems.

Like Scheherazade in a hostile classroom, author Daniel Nayeri weaves a tale of Khosrou trying to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. And it is (a true story) [From Goodreads].

If you listen, I’ll tell you a story. We can know and be known to each other, and then we’re not enemies anymore.

One thing I hear from a lot of Youth Services librarians is that they are looking for more humor books to recommend. There are lots of YA books, but most of them, at least in my experience, are very serious or romances or something else. But, I have finally found THE book. The book I would recommend if a young person came into the library looking for something funny to read. Somehow, Nayeri manages to juggle humor and sensitivity in a way that only makes sense for a story about a middle-school-aged Persian boy living in Oklahoma.

I think I was laughing and tearing up within five minutes of each other while listening to this audiobook. Khosrou’s story is so heartbreaking yet hopeful and light at the same time. i think the quote above really sums up the experience of reading this book. As is mentioned in the synopsis, this is a series of true stories based on the author’s life. This story is so important for everyone to consume, young and old, about the immigrant experience in this country.

I want this book to be in every school’s curricula, on every library’s recommended reads display. I’m grateful the cover of this one is so beautiful, otherwise I might not have picked it up originally (I saw it from afar while eating brunch at our local BookBar and looked it up later).

I don’t have much else to say about this one other than it is a hilarious and inspiring read I need everyone to recommend to the young people in their lives.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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