Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Shabanu is the youngest daughter of the best camel herder in the Cholistan desert. Life in the desert can be very difficult. There has been a draught for several years, and without water to support the camel herd, the family will not be able to afford the dowry needed for Shabanu’s sister’s wedding in July. Blessed with rain several months early, the family is able to survive and sell their camels for a huge profit at the year’s fair. As Phulan’s wedding draws ever closer, Shabanu knows that their family will never be whole again.
Most of this book centers around what life is like in the Cholistan, making it difficult for plot summary. However, it offers a lyrical look at what life as a desert nomad entails. The culture presented is so different from what I am used to, and yet I found myself relating to Shabanu on many levels. The last few chapters are quite plot-intensive, making the whole book worthwhile for readers who are expecting an adventure. I truly can’t recommend this book enough, even if you just read it so you can read Haveli, the sequel.
Shady Glade Rating: 8/10
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I also liked Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher, about 2 homeless kids in Ancient Persia who find themselves in the caravan of the 3 magi following the stars to Bethlehem.
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