Twelve-year-old Jude flees the Syrian Civil War with her mother to the United States, but in the process she must leave behind her father, Babba, who still tends the family store, and older brother, Issa.
Her mother is pregnant, so her Uncle Mazin's protection and safe haven in America are welcome, but adjusting to life in the US and living in his house with his family is hard. Her Aunt Michelle, Mazin's wife, and their daughter, Jude's cousin, Sarah, who's a bit older than her, at times aren't welcoming or they just don't understand where Jude is coming from, because they were born in America.
There are misunderstandings with her Aunt Michelle about Jude choosing to wear the hijab, and Jude has to work through Sarah's jealousies about Jude's close relationship with her Uncle. All along, there are ugly Americans at nearly every turn. But in school, in her special English class, Jude makes friends with another Arabic speaking girl, Layla, although Layla's not from a Middle Eastern country.
Pretty soon, the word "Home" has a new meaning, one that at the same time hurts and comforts Jude. She aches for her old "home" in Syria, to see her Babba on more than just FaceTime, and she hasn't heard from her older brother and worries about him non-stop. Yet she blossoms in Uncle Mazin and Aunt Michelle's home, and it is fast coming into her own young womanhood.
This is a powerful read, quick because it's in verse, and excellent for April National Poetry Month! Enjoy.