Indies Introduce

Young Adult

  • Darius the Great is Not Okay, Adib Khorram
    Dial Books, 9780525552963, August 28, 2018 (Young Adult)

    Darius, who is from a mixed Persian family, is constantly put out by his father’s scrutiny, even though they both take medication for depression; his sister’s ability (and his inability) to speak Farsi with his mother at home; and the bullying from other kids at school. With help from a new friend named Sohrab, Darius learns that it’s okay to not be okay, and to find the courage to be authentic, whatever that may mean.

    Destenie Fafard, Cellar Door Books (Riverside, CA)

    “Being simultaneously blunt and heartfelt is a difficult thing to manage, yet Darius the Great Is Not Okay pulls it off. The well-balanced combination of candor and sincerity takes this story of self-discovery and self-acceptance and makes it into something refreshing, honest, and special.”


    Louise Marshall, Rakestraw Books (Danville, CA)

    “Darius does not fit in at home in Portland, where he is being bullied at school and work and spending one conflict-free hour a night with his exacting father. Darius fears the worst when his parents announce a trip to Iran to visit his mother’s family. Struggling with depression, a beleaguered relationship with his father, and inadequacy in Persian manners, Darius is a fish out of water. Luckily, his new friend, Sohrab, is able to crack Darius’ shell and help him find a home within himself, and within the greater orbit of his sprawling Persian family. I totally fell for Darius’ narrative voice—shyly snarky, an affectation to cover up his sweet and endearing heart. I really appreciated the way masculinity was presented in this book—with caring and vulnerability. I was so enamored with his journey of friendship with Sohrab. The way Darius approaches both friendship and family was so warm. The liminality of diaspora was carefully addressed, and I think Darius does an excellent job trying to bridge two worlds with heart. It was deeply gratifying to see him come into his own and find a place within his family. P.S. I wanted to eat this book—so much delicious food! This is the perfect book for Hufflepuffs. Also, a great book for bridging middle grade and YA. I don’t think there are any content or language reasons to keep it from younger readers.”


    Jessica Hahl, The Country Bookshelf (Bozeman, MT)

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