Other Words For Home is a very acclaimed book written in free verse by Jasmine Warga, which won a number of prizes ever since its launch in 2019. In the voice of Jude, a Syrian refugee now living in America with her mom and a few other relatives, this story addresses serious and relevant issues in a beautiful and delicate manner. A powerful, hopeful, poetic, and necessary story, this book is absolutely worth reading. Grab your own copy of it asap and join Jude in this self-discovery journey.
Jasmine Warga is the author behind the masterpiece “Other Words For Home”, a book about losing and finding home. This timely, lyrical, authentic, and convincing story follows Jude, a twelve-year-old Syrian girl who was suddenly forced to move to America due to some volatile issues in her hometown. The young girl and her mother had to leave her older brother and father behind to move in with their relatives in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jude always loved to watch American movies, but when she actually sees herself in the U.S., things look a lot different than what she had pictured in her head: people around her seem to live fast-paced lives with lots of noises everywhere. In her American school, there is only one other student that looks like Jude, and she cannot understand why her colleagues labeled her as “Middle Eastern Muslim”, a new identity she had never known before. Written in free verse, this beautiful novel is told by this Syrian refugee struggling to adapt to a new culture, where she apparently can’t be seen as simply a girl. But along with those many changes, her new life in the U.S. also brings her new friends, family, and opportunities she could never dream of.
Author of other incredible books like “Here We Are Now” and “My Heart and Other Black Holes”, Jasmine Warga currently lives with her family in the Chicago area and teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts. The writer, originally from Cincinnati, is now working on her next novel, entitled “A Rover Named Resilience”, which will be launched in 2022. Jasmine is herself the daughter of immigrants: her paternal side of the family comes from Jordan, and she describes herself as an Arab American girl. She wrote this book so that more young girls like her that relate to the prejudice against different religions or skin colours would be able to realize that their dreams, hopes and fears are also valid, and that their stories are worth being told. Warga writes about the dilemmas of belonging in a powerful yet gentle and loving way, which keeps readers both happy and sad at the same time.
This amazing book was launched in 2019 and its 352 pages are organized into six parts: Changing, Arriving, Staying, Hoping, Growing, and Living. It addresses serious and important topics such as prejudice, the war in Syria, and the situation of refugees. A New York Times bestseller, “Other Words For Home” has won an impressive number of awards, including 2020 John Newbery Honor Book, 2020 Lee Bennet Hopkins Poetry Prize Honor, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019. This is a hopeful, emotional, and realistic book that should be on everyone’s reading list!
Published by HOLR Magazine.