Synopses & Reviews
An eye-opening, heart-rending tale of love, honor and betrayal from veteran foreign news correspodent Atia Abawi
Fatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures and the Taliban to stay together. Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must-read for anyone who has lived during America's War in Afghanistan.
Perfect for fans of Patricia McCormick, Linda Sue Park, and Khaled Hosseini, this story will stay with readers for a long time to come.
* A suspenseful, enlightening, and hopeful love story.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
Riveting plot, sympathetic characters and straightforward narration studded with vivid, authentic detail: a top choice.” Kirkus review
Heartbreaking and heartwarming.” VOYA review
"I love this story -- it leaves no doubt that hope and love speak the same language everywhere." -- Suzanne Fisher Staples, author of SHABANU: DAUGHTER OF HTE WIND
"Both heart-wrenching and timely." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS
"A beautifully written novel that introduces young readers to a fascinating culture." -- PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE
"Readers will readily find themselves rooting for Zulaikha in this simply told yet thoughtful story." -- THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
Praise for The Secret Sky
* “A suspenseful, enlightening, and hopeful love story.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Riveting plot, sympathetic characters and straightforward narration studded with vivid, authentic detail: a top choice.” - Kirkus review
“Heartbreaking and heartwarming.” - VOYA review
“Abawi writes with a gentle hand as she tells a tale of tribal rituals thats chilling to the bone….Abawis introduction, authors note, and generous glossary supply welcome context for this heartbreaking rendering of forbidden love.” - Booklist review
"[The Secret Sky is] a tale of the indomitable Afghan spirit of hope and love. Among the many novels set in Afghanistan for young people or for adults, The Secret Sky stands alone. Unputdownable. Unforgettable." -Trent Reedy, author of Words in the Dust
“The Secret Sky brilliantly captures the magic and the heartbreak of Afghanistan as only someone rooted in its mystery can....This first novel by a top foreign correspondent has the authenticity of raw journalism and the poetry of a gifted writer. A must read for anyone who wants to understand the contradictions of the Afghan soul.” -Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent and anchor of Andrea Mitchell Reports
“A riveting tale written from the heart....This powerful love story will leave you angry at injustice, and awed by courage. It shocks and inspires.” -Lyse Doucet, Chief International Correspondent, BBC
“The Secret Sky is an amazing combination of utterly searing and beautifully romantic. It was like reading The Kite Runner—a gripping story that gave insight to this brutal yet magical culture.” -Daphne Benedis-Grab, author of The Girl in the Wall
Winner of the Christopher Medal and a "heart-wrenching" Al Roker's Book Club selection on the Today Show.
Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her--"Inshallah," God willing.
Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to her village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha--but can she dare to hope they'll come true?
About the Author
Atia Abawi is a foreign news correspondent who was stationed for almost five years in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Conor Powell. You can follow her on Twitter @AtiaAbawi.