From Syria to Cincinnati: ‘Other Words for Home’

Our last Freedom Friends Book Club pick of 2021 is Other Words for Home, the award-winning bestseller by Cincinnati native Jasmine Warga.

Meet Jude, the 12-year-old daughter of a Syrian refugee family finding their way in a new life in the Queen City. In simple, lyrical verse, Jude tells the story of how she came from there to here, a journey of self-revelation that leads her to a most unlikely place: center stage in the school musical. Other Words For Home earned multiple awards, including a John Newbery Honor, a Walter Honor for Young Readers, and a Charlotte Huck Honor.

“Give me a story about imperfect, loving families,” writes Jessia P. Wick in an NPR review. “About seeing others clearly as you learn to see yourself clearly. A story with humor. A story with trouble. Give me a story with a love of life and a love of joy. Give me a story that speaks — that tells us to speak, to speak up! To speak loudly!”

Warga is also the author of young adult books, My Heart and Other Black Holes and Here We Are Now, which have been translated into over twenty different languages. The Shape of Thunder, her most recent book for middle grade readers, is a Junior Library Guild selection and Indie Next List Summer 2021 pick. Her next novel, A Rover’s Story, will be out in Fall 2022. Jasmine currently teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She now lives in the Chicago area with her family.

Pick up a copy of Other Words for Home at the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library, or our own little free library at Elementz, and make plans to join our Zoom at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15. If you participate in the video chat discussion, you might win a WVXU/D&M swag bag, including an upcoming Freedom Friends Book Club selection. We hope you’ll join us (digitally) for this very special event!

RSVP here to get the Zoom link

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