Shooting Kabul

Shooting Kabul

For Ages: 8 - 12
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Fadi never imagined he’d start middle school in Fremont, California, thousands of miles from home in Kabul—and half a world away from his missing six-year-old sister, Mariam.

Adjusting to life in the United States isn’t easy for Fadi’s family, and as the events of September 11 unfold, the prospects of locating Mariam in war-torn Afghanistan seem slim. When a photography competition with a grand prize of a trip to India is announced, Fadi sees his chance to return to Afghanistan and find his sister. But can one photo really bring Mariam home?

Based in part on Ms. Senzai’s husband’s own experience fleeing Soviet-controlled Afghanistan in 1979, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance.
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  • Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442401969 | 
  • June 2010 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7 | 
  • Lexile 800
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Read an Excerpt

IT’S A PERFECT NIGHT to run away, thought Fadi, casting a brooding look at the bright sheen of the moon through the cracked backseat window. It reminded him of the first line of the book From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away.”

Fadi was only halfway through the first chapter, so he didn’t know how successful Claudia had been in her getaway, old-fashioned or not, but he sure hoped that his family would be. If they weren’t, they were going to be in an awful lot of trouble.

Under the protective... see more

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Shooting Kabul

By N. H. Senzai

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

The discussion questions and activities that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Shooting Kabul. Please feel free to adapt these materials to suit the needs of your classroom or community group.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Chapter 1 begins with the sentence, “It’s a perfect night to run away . . .” From what is the family running at the opening of the story? Describe at least three ways in which running away (or choosing to stay) is an important idea in terms of the novel’s plot and themes.

2. Describe the main character, Fadi. What are his interests and dreams? What roles does he play within both his immediate family and his larger Afghan community in California? How are Fadi’s family and community relationships similar to, or different from, your own?

3. Why did Fadi’s father, Habib, choose to return to Afghanistan? What does this choice tell you about Habib? If you were a member of Habib’s family, how would you have felt about this decision?

4. What happens to Fadi’s sister, Mariam, as the family embarks on their escape from Afghanistan? How are feelings of guilt and responsibility about this incident expressed differently by various members of the family?

5. What do Fadi’s memories of life with Mariam teach readers about Afghanistan? What type of doll is Gul see more

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