Indeed this is a true story of a boy named Khosrou, who became known as "Daniel" when he and his mother and sister immigrated to the United States. Author Daniel Nayeri writes from his perspective as a child who loved his relatives and his ancient house in Iran, but was forced into a long immigration process when his mother, a doctor, converted from Islam to Christianity and was thereafter considered a criminal in her own country. The fictionalized account makes many references to the storytelling of the legendary Persian queen Scheherazade, and Nayeri writes as if his own survival depends on telling the many small stories and captured memories, whether poignant, mundane, or traumatic, that make him the person he is today. Humor and also sadness abound, and there is some blood and violence.
This book won the Michael L. Printz Award for literary excellence in young adult literature, in 2021.
If you enjoyed Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga, or Front Desk, by Kelly Yang, you will most likely appreciate this lyrically written title as well. Recommended for ages 9-12, and teens, too.