The Turtle of Oman

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Aref is about to move from Muscat in Oman to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents... read more

Aref is about to move from Muscat in Oman to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will attend graduate school. Aref is unhappy about going, and worried about everything he’s leaving behind: his friends; his cat, Mish-Mish; his house; and especially his grandfather, Sidi. He’s also worried about making new friends in a new place so far from everything he knows and loves. Although his mother is busy packing she takes time to reassure him while his dad, who’s already left, sends encouraging word about the apartment he’s found. But it’s the time Aref spends with Sidi during his final week before leaving that is at the heart of this story. It’s a week of small moments and special outings — camping in the desert, sleeping out on the roof, going on a boat ride, hoping to see the turtles on the beach. Aref is making new memories, weaving the bond he has to Sidi and to Muscat ever tighter, even as Sidi is clearly also helping Aref get ready to say good-bye. Lyrical, observant, tender, funny, Naomi Shihab Nye conveys the wonder of childhood, of love, and of the world in which we live. (Ages 7–10)

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

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