Sunday, May 27, 2018

AUDIOBOOKS: Running Scared (week 3 of YA Sync)

The third week's theme is Running Scared, stories with boys running for their lives. Another fiction and nonfiction pairing.

On Two Feet and Wings: One Boy's Amazing Story of Survival by Abbas Kazarooni

A crazy memoir from the 1980s, when Iran was suddenly under the Ayatollah, fighting a war with Iraq, and Iranians were trying to get out. (I had a student ten years ago whose family left Iran so he wouldn't have to do his time in the army. Lovely student) In terms of time and general theme, this reminded me of Persepolis but it was quite different. In trying to get their nine year old Abbas out of Iran, his parents make plans to flee to Turkey, but at the last minute, the parents weren't allowed out, so they sent him on his own. On his own at nine. A friend of the father's was supposed to look after him, but he barely throws him in a taxi. Luckily, Abbas meets a couple of absolutely wonderful residents of Istanbul. (I love stories of wonderful people in Istanbul.) 

Dear little Abbas manages to make his way in Istanbul as he waits out his application at the British Embassy. His street smarts are pretty good for a nine year old, and his resiliency is amazing. We talk in school about kids today needing to be resilient and this would be a great book. Apparently there is a follow up book about Abbas' time in England, with a not as happy of ending.

Johnny Get Your Gun (Virgil Tibbs book 3) by John Ball

The fiction half of this week's offering and a sequel to a book previously offered, In the Heat of the Night. Both feature Detective Virgil Tibbs (of the famous movie line - They call me Mr Tibbs!). This one was very good, starting out with two young boys and a case of bullying gone wrong. The younger fellow vows revenge, and takes his father's (loaded!) gun to find the older boy. A nine year old on the run with a loaded gun led to much suspense and concern, never knowing how serious the author with make things turn out. I loved the 'noir' feel to the story, little description, all action and the Pasedena/Anaheim setting. I'd look for more Virgil Tibbs mysteries for sure.