Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
Illustrator: Betsy Peterschmidt
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Aref has just one week before he has to leave behind everything that is familiar to him—his friends, his cat, his home and neighbors, and his grandfather. The Al-Amri family is moving to Michigan for three years. Aref's family encourages discovery, learning, and adventure but, now that it is time to leave, Aref's adventurous spirit falters. How can he say good-bye to the only place he has ever known? A special week spent with his wise grandfather, visiting the places that he loves, Aref is guided to build up memories and find the courage he needs to embark on this exciting venture.
Having lived in Muscat Oman, Naomi Shihab Nye opens our eyes to this amazing corner of the world through the eyes of a young boy. The thoughts and feelings of this youngster are captured as he faces the daunting task of saying good-bye to the people and places he loves. Many can relate to the main character in this book as life brings changes that we all must face. This is a good book to learn some fun facts as we learn what interests Aref and his family. It also teaches us about family relationships, interacting with others and finding courage to accept our own challenges in our lives.