The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams

Levine Querido. Mar. 2023. 224p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781646143030.
Gr 4-8–This delightful adventure along the 11th-century Silk Road opens with its 12-year-old narrator, Omar (soon called Monkey), fleeing for his life from the monks who had once sheltered him. Monkey is saved by Samir, a merchant traveling in a caravan, who buys him from the monks for six bolts of silk. Monkey joins Samir in his journey to Samarkand and begins to learn Samir’s tricks of the trade. What initially seems like simple bartering tactics and weaving of wild tales turns out to be a recipe for disaster. Samir has earned grudges from many of his former customers, and now several assassins are after him. The thrills never let up in this fast-paced adventure tale that is packed with intrigue, vivid description, and plenty of heartwarming moments. The narrative voice is at times naive, at others snarky, but ultimately readers will find delight in Monkey’s own ability to weave a wild tale that keeps them guessing till the very end. Miyares’s beautiful full-color illustrations animate life along the Silk Road, and an extended author’s note provides excellent historical context for Monkey’s tale.
VERDICT An epic adventure with an enduring message about love and family, this is a first purchase for upper elementary and middle school libraries.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing