Enduring Freedom

by Trent Reedy, Jawad Arash

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This powerful novel set in the tumultuous times surrounding 9/11 follows a teenage American army private and an Afghan boy living under the Taliban as they discover they have much more in common than they ever could have imagined.​

Baheer, a studious Afghan teen, sees his family’s life turned upside...
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Published By Algonquin Young Readers

Format Hardback


Number Of Pages 352

Publication Date 05/18/2021

ISBN 9781643750408

Dimensions 5.88 inches x 8.62 inches

“Through Baheer, readers ages 12 and older will gain some understanding of life under the Taliban; of the concussive shock of 9/11 as felt in Central Asia; of Afghans’ varied responses to the American invasion; and most of all the transformative promise of schooling. Through Joe, an aspiring journalist, readers experience not only the throb of post-9/11 patriotism but also the tedium, camaraderie and sudden terrors of soldiery in a war zone.”
The Wall Street Journal

“This thoughtful portrait of friendship and the human side of war, based on the authors’ true story, proves engrossing.”
Publishers Weekly

“A touching tale of understanding and friendship . . . The message of education as a vehicle for progress and dismantling hatred is one that will strike a chord with readers.”
Kirkus Reviews

* “A story of friendship, hardship, acceptance, and courage.”
Library Journal, starred review

"Writing in alternating points of view, the co-authors draw on their real-life friendship (further explored in appended authors’ notes) to tell a touching story about differences and finding common ground . . . The story effectively focuses on those most affected by violent conflict and the characters’ shift in perspective from prejudice to openness. Joe’s reading of war literature leads him to realize the common hardships people face in a war zone, while Baheer’s engagement with Persian classics, Afghan poetry, and Quranic verses help him understand the humanity of all people. Through their individual reflections, they come to understand that education is the key to rebuilding a society, and they work together toward this goal."
Horn Book Magazine

“The engaging story moves back and forth between Joe and Baheer, offering readers an intimate look at the Afghan people and their lives in a country perpetually at war. Coauthors Reedy and Arash are especially good at character development and setting. This book, with its dual perspectives, will be especially good for classroom use and discussion.”