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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