One Half from the East (Hardcover)
One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi is a story about an Afghani family struck with tragedy when the father loses his leg and his ability to support the family in a bomb blast in Kabul. The family moves to the father’s village, where his brother can help support them, but their situation is desperate. With no sons, there is no way for the family of five to earn money. As a result, relatives persuade the mother to transform Obayda, the youngest daughter, into a bacha posh (a boy). Transformed into a boy named Obayd, Obayda enjoys freedom she would never experience as a girl although she realizes that her freedom will not last. This is a fascinating book that sheds light on the vastly different roles for boys and girls in the middle east and the bacha posh tradition that continues to exist. Ages 8 to 12.— From Staff Reviews
Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia, Thanhha Lai, and Rebecca Stead, internationally bestselling author Nadia Hashimi’s first novel for young readers is a coming-of-age journey set in modern-day Afghanistan that explores life as a bacha posh—a preteen girl dressed as a boy.
Obayda’s family is in need of some good fortune, and her aunt has an idea to bring the family luck—dress Obayda, the youngest of four sisters, as a boy, a bacha posh.
Life in this in-between place is confusing, but once Obayda meets another bacha posh, everything changes. Their transformation won’t last forever, though—unless the two best friends can figure out a way to make it stick and make their newfound freedoms endure.
Nadia Hashimi’s first novel for adults, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, was a bestseller that shares a bacha posh character with One Half from the East.
About the Author
Nadia Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. In 2002, Nadia made her first trip to Afghanistan with her parents. She is a pediatrician and lives with her family in the Washington, DC, suburbs. She is the author of three books for adults, as well as the middle grade novels One Half from the East and The Sky at Our Feet. Visit her online at www.nadiahashimi.com.
“Like its young protagonist, One Half from the East dances between hope and hard realities. Obayda’s struggle to define herself in a world that is all too eager to do the job for her is captivating.”
— Cassie Beasley, author of Circus Mirandus
“Told in clear, vivid prose that combines detailed descriptions of daily life with a good dose of adventure, this story... This is an excellent title that will offer students a window into life in Afghanistan and open interesting, age-appropriate conversations about gender expectations and roles in different countries.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“By focusing on gender inequality as seen through the lens of a traditional society, Hashimi lets readers see themselves in Obayda’s emotions, even as the outcomes remain true to the Afghan culture Hashimi portrays so fluently.”
— The Horn Book
“The first-person point of view in this novel will be impactful and meaningful to readers. Hashimi’s Obayda will provide readers with insightful information about Islamic culture, and particularly the Afghani culture, as it relates to girls.”
— Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“With beautiful language, rich characters, and a perspective not often seen in children’s literature, this heartbreaking story will leave a lasting mark.”