The Turtle of Michigan: A Novel
Aref is eight years old when his parents decide to move from Oman to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for three years while they attend graduate school. Aref is afraid about the move. He will miss his grandfather, his Sidi, and he will have no friends. His father goes a week early to make sure everything is in order. When Aref and his mother arrive, his father is very excited about showing them what a great place it will be for them to spend time in. Aref joins an art class and makes friends right away. They have wonderful neighbors who are very welcoming. He likes it there, but the problem is that he misses his Sidi very much.
This is a sweet, quiet book for the younger middle-grade set. Naomi Shihab Nye is a wonderful writer, and she has created characters readers are sure to fall in love with. This is more of a slice-of-life novel than a story with a problem driving the plot. The only problem Aref has is missing his grandfather, a problem he cannot solve, so this breaks some writing rules. That said, for younger readers, this is a perfect book.
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