I heard about this book over at Becker's blog Dwelling in Possibility This is one of the best coming of age stories I've read in a long time. Nidali was born in the 1970's in America to an Egyptain Greek mother and Palestinian father. Soon after her birth the family moves to Kuwait.
We hear Nidali's distinct, funny, truthful (sometimes with four letter words) from the beginning. She even tells the story of her birth. A Map of Home was such a pleasure to read. Jarrar's writing pulled me in quickly and she made me laugh.
Nidali's, her father didn't wait to find out her sex before he put a name on the birth certificate.
"Baba's brow furrowed, and Mama couldn't finish her complaint, because, eager to correct his mistake, Baba was already out the door and running down the white -tiled hallway, past new mothers and their red -faced babies, past hideous robes in uncalled for patterns, bypassing the elevator, and sliding down the banister of the staircase, landing smack on his balls at the end of it. But he raced on, doubtlessly feared by the hospital's patients and nurses who saw an enormous mustache with limping legs, which, upon its arrival at its destination, was screaming for Rhonda, where is Rhonda, help me Rhonda, an outcry that provided the staff with three weeks worth of endless laughter and snickering."
Several professional views including starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly via the author's site