Moon at Nine

by Deborah Ellis

In the late 1980s, Farrin is an Iranian teenage girl whose privileged family is still... read more

In the late 1980s, Farrin is an Iranian teenage girl whose privileged family is still hoping the Shah’s son in exile will overthrow the Ayatollah Khomeini. But Farrin cares nothing about politics. She hates her mother’s monthly teas with other wealthy women who secretly support the old regime. In fact, there’s little Farrin likes about her spoiled, strident mother. She’s much closer to her hard-working father. Then Farrin falls in love with her friend Sadira. The two girls know they can’t be open with their affection, but a fellow student catches them in a kiss, and their families ban them from seeing each another. Making plans to secretly run away, they are instead arrested as deviants by government soldiers during a raid. Farrin is sentenced to death, with Sadira’s fate unknown to her. Released at the last minute, Farrin discovers her father has promised her to her family’s servant as his wife in exchange for him getting her out of the country. To her it’s a betrayal, one made worse by the realization that she was probably lied to about Sadira’s fate. Facing life as a different kind of prisoner, Farrin makes a second escape to an unknown future, but one of her own making. This gripping story is set against the backdrop of the fear and oppression in Iran under the Ayatollah. An author’s note gives more context, explaining that the story is based on the life of an Iranian woman now living in the west, whom Ellis met. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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