This hilarious and poignant tween debut about dealing with bullies, making friends, and the power of good books is a great next read for fans of Merci Suárez Changes Gears and John David Anderson.
Ahmed Aziz is having an epic year—epically bad.
After his dad gets sick, the family moves from Hawaii to Minnesota for his dad’s treatment. Even though his dad grew up there, Ahmed can’t imagine a worse place to live. He’s one of the only brown kids in his school. And as a proud slacker, Ahmed doesn’t want to deal with expectations from his new teachers.
Ahmed surprises himself by actually reading the assigned books for his English class: Holes, Bridge to Terabithia, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Shockingly, he doesn’t hate them. Ahmed also starts learning about his uncle, who died before Ahmed was born.
Getting bits and pieces of his family’s history might be the one upside of the move, as his dad’s health hangs in the balance and the school bully refuses to leave him alone. Will Ahmed ever warm to Minnesota?
* A Chicago Public Library Kids Best Book of the Year * A BookPage Best Book of the Year * A Bank Street Best Book of the Year * Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award *
Nina Hamza moved to Minnesota from warmer climates. She tried downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, sledding, snow tubing, and snowshoeing before deciding the long winter months were perfect for reading and writing. Now she is happy to call Minnesota home. She writes about her experiences as a Muslim and an immigrant and has been published in the Star Tribune and the Chicago Tribune. Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year is her debut novel. Visit her online at www.ninahamza.com.
"A strong debut destined to become a classic.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“Fresh, funny and authentic. Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year marks Hamza as a writer to watch." — BookPage (starred review)
“An affecting reflection on this boy’s tumultuous sixth-grade year.” — Booklist
“Compassionate and authentic. An emotionally perceptive book about grief, identity, and change.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Ahmed’s cheeky narration will fool no readers, as they witness the crumbling of his fake-it-’til-you-make-it wall of emotional self-defense.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"Hamza writes with verve and a palpable fondness for her nuanced characters. Offers discerning lessons on reading, love, and adaptation." — Publishers Weekly