The Turtle of Oman
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The Turtle of Oman

3.54 (973 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is acclaimed poet and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye's first novel set in the Middle East since her acclaimed Habibi. Aref Al-Amri does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase, but he refuses. Finally, she calls Siddi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Siddi's roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, and they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Siddi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref's suitcase-mementos of home.
Naomi Shihab Nye's warmth, attention to detail, and belief in the power of empathy and connection shines from every page. Features black-and-white spot art and decorations by Betsy Peterschmidt.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 127 x 185.42 x 30.48mm | 294.83g
  • Greenwillow Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062019724
  • 9780062019721
  • 550,454

Back cover copy

Here are some things Aref loves about his home.

Mish-Mish, his cat The dunes in the desert His friends Diram and Sulima Fresh apricots Crispy fish served in baskets His grandfather, Sidi His excellent rock collection The turtles of Oman

Aref does not want to move to Michigan. He's sure the kids there won't like him. Also, he has everything he needs right where he is! But Sidi has another point of view. Sidi says Aref will go and come back. Just like a falcon or the turtles of Oman, he'll travel far and make his way home to Muscat.

So Aref sets out to say good-bye to everything he loves. Good-bye to Mish-Mish, Diram, Sulima, dunes, Sidi . . . But how can he stand it?
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Review quote

"Nye's story about the special bond between a boy and his grandfather and their mutual love for their country is somehow both quiet and exhilarating." -- Horn Book (starred review) "A warm and humorous peek at the profound and mundane details of moving from one country to another-a perfect pick for kids on the move." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Magical ...Will deeply touch young readers who have also moved between countries-and it will enlighten their new friends." -- Booklist "Nye's elegant but accessible tale-a love letter to Oman, a touching portrayal of a boy and his grandfather, and a poignant look at how we experience change-is deeply moving." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
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About Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye is a poet and anthologist and the acclaimed author of Habibi: A Novel and Sitti's Secrets, a picture book, which was based on her own experiences visiting her beloved Sitti in Palestine. Her book 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has taught writing and worked in schools all over the world, including in Muscat, Oman. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.
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Rating details

973 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 18% (172)
4 35% (344)
3 34% (335)
2 9% (91)
1 3% (31)
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