Originally bought this book at Costco in Australia and thoroughly loved it, so purchased several more to read with my book group back in the U.S. The author did a wonderful job of capturing the authentic voice and personality of Enaiatollah. His personality, humor and lovable boyishness come through as if he were standing there himself telling you one of the most amazing stories you've ever heard, made all the more incredible by his youth and innocence. His story deepened my empathy for those who may not always follow the proper immigration channels. Of course I'm opposed to human smuggling and illegal border crossings, but I'm now more aware and sensitive to plight of those who may not have many good options in their struggle to survive.
When read by an adult who can answer all of the "why" questions this book brings up, this book is a world-view changer for pre-teen children. Issues of politics, religion, ethnicity, human trafficking, education, hard labor... these are all addressed through the age appropriate viewpoint of a 10-16 year old boy. I cannot recommend this highly enough!
I would definitely recommend this book to people who are interested in world humanity. What comes across apart from the story is the incredible resilience of this young boy, the way he makes himself accept the awfulness that the world throws at him and yet seems not to be tainted or pushed into bitterness by it. It is a book that gives one a grain of hope for the future of the world. I gave it 4 stars only because the English, having been twice translated, is understandably not top quality.
I really, really loved this book! It's sweet, funny, interesting and educational! It makes you reflect on your own life and knowing it's a true story it makes you value the things you have and often take for granted! I recommend it very much!