by J.C. Carleson
When her father is killed in a coup, Laila flees to the United States with her mother and brother. As she struggles with daily life in the States, Laila begins to discover the truth about her father's regime. While her mother schemes and plots for them to have her younger brother inherit the country's rule so they can return to the country, Laila is left trying to figure out what her path is. Does she have to return to a county where she will have no real rights again? Should she stay in America even though life here isn't as easy as they might have thought? What is true in a world where everything she was told was a lie? An interesting read about a girl from a sheltered past coming to terms with truths she was never told.
This book mildly frustrated me. There were times when I wanted to yell at Laila that family loyalty should only go so far. The mother's plots to return to their country and put her young son 'in charge' and have a family member as regent angered me, mainly because you can see this kind of scheming today and in our recent past. The human rights atrocities that were touched on were equally frustrating as you watched the mother ignoring them to try and continue to live the life she wanted. It's a good read that gives some insight as to what it would be like to grow up in that environment.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 9th Grade