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Ask Me No Questions
Synopses & Reviews
Nadira and her family are illegal aliens, fleeing to the Canadian border — running from the country they thought was their home. For years since emigrating from Bangladesh, they have lived on expired visas in New York City, hoping they could someday realize their dream of becoming legal citizens of the United States. But after 9/11, everything changes. Suddenly, being Muslim means being dangerous, a suspected terrorist. And when Nadira's father is arrested and detained at the border, Nadira and her older sister, Aisha, are sent back to Queens and told to carry on, as if everything is the same. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; But of course nothing is the same. Nadira and Aisha live in fear they'll have to return to a Bangladesh they hardly know. Aisha, always the responsible one, falls apart. It's up to Nadira to find a way to bring her family back together again. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; Critically acclaimed author Marina Budhos has given us a searing portrait of contemporary America in the days of terrorism, orange alerts, and the Patriot Act, and a moving and important story about something most people take for granted — citizenship and acceptance in their country.
"As Budhos's (House of Waiting, for adults) provocative novel opens, 14-year-old narrator Nadira Hossain and her family are heading north to Canada, seeking asylum from the harassment that has become routine in the U.S. in the wake of 9/11. The family left Bangladesh for America eight years ago on a tourist visa and stayed; the first lawyer they hired to make them legal citizens was a fraud, the second was unsuccessful. At Flushing High in Queens, with a large population of immigrant students, the 'policy' is 'Ask me no questions,' according to Nadira. But just as her sister, Aisha, is interviewing at colleges like Barnard, with a shot at valedictorian, the questions start coming hard and fast to the people of their community — some of whom disappear in the night with immigration officers, detained for months before being deported. In a desperate move, the Hossains travel to Canada, where they are turned away; their father, Abba, is placed in a U.S. jail cell at the border, their mother remains in a shelter nearby, and the girls return to Queens to stay with their aunt and uncle. The message drives the story here; the motivations of the characters are not always clear, and the ending may strike some as a bit tidy. But the events of the novel are powerful enough to engage readers' attention and will make them pause to consider the effects of a legal practice that preys on prejudice and fear. Ages 10-14." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The author of "Remix: Conversations with Immigrant Teenagers" pens a moving story about two teenage sisters, originally from Bangladesh, whose family lives illegally in New York City. After 9/11, immigration regulations change, forcing the family to seek asylum.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Marina Budhosandlt;/bandgt; is the author of such books as andlt;iandgt;Ask Me No Questionsandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;Tell Us We're Homeandlt;/iandgt;, andandnbsp;andlt;iandgt;Remix: Conversations with Immigrant Teenagers.andlt;/iandgt; She has received an EMMA (Exceptional Merit Media Award) and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for women writers. Ms. Budhos has been a Fulbright Scholar in India, has given talks throughout the country and abroad, and has taught at several universities and colleges. She is currently an associate professor of English at William Paterson University. She lives with her husband and fellow Atheneum author, Marc Aronson, and their two sons in Maplewood, New Jersey.andnbsp;You can visit her online at marinabudhos.com.
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