NONFICTION

Taking Cover: One Girl's Story of Growing Up During the Iranian Revolution

160p. chron. maps. photos. National Geographic. Jan. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781426333668.
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Gr 6 Up—When, in 1976, Nioucha's family moved from Pittsburgh to Iran, her father's homeland, they were returning to a modern, forward-thinking country. In 1979, however, the Iranian Revolution sent the nation into an ever-tightening spiral of religious policies and punishments, establishing an atmosphere of surveillance and fear. Nioucha thought that she already had enough to adjust to. As the daughter of a French mother and Iranian father, she was trying to acclimate to a new culture and language and longing ultimately, to belong. This memoir reveals what life was like for a young girl caught between cultures during those increasingly restrictive early years of the revolution. The author also paints a vivid picture of preadolescent and adolescent self as she navigated friendships and family relationships and privately enjoyed pop culture and a secret boyfriend. Nioucha's struggles will resonate with readers, especially those who feel caught between their public faces or family-pleasing selves and their inner rebellions. Each chapter is illuminated with evocative Persian patterns, accompanied by a quotation from a Persian poet or proverb. The foreword by acclaimed Iranian-born author Firoozeh Dumas situates the narrative poignantly within the context of modern Iranian history. A map of Iran and the surrounding area and a time line of Iranian history provide additional educational content.
VERDICT A moving, accessible, and informative addition to all middle grade and young adult nonfiction collections.

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