Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Review: Home Is Not a Country

Home Is Not a Country Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Safia Elhillo is one of my absolutely favorite poets (check out her earlier collection, The January Children, and then watch her perform her work on YouTube!)

This is a YA novel in verse about a Sudanese (pre)teen named Nima who has moved with her mother to the United States after the death of her father (and rising conflict in her country.) Themes include a tumultuous friendship with her friend Haitham, the alternate girl with the alternate name (Yasmeen) whose life she imagines (the one who she might have been if her father hadn't died,) and the difficulties of finding friendship and community in a place that doesn't feel quite like home. Safia includes themes familiar to her earlier work about language, homeland, music, and belonging.

This comes from the Make Me a World imprint from Random House, alongside Pet by Akwaeke Emezi among others. It comes out today (March 2) and I had a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, who blurbed the book!

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