I read this to see if it might be a good discussion book for a school-age book group with an international theme, and even though I gave it just three stars, I think it's a contender since it has a lot of qualities we're looking for in a discussion book.It gives a short description of living in Afghanistan; the majority is set in San Francisco, yet shows the immigration experience with limited success. I liked how she writes of their religious beliefs, foods they eat, financial difficulties, etc., but there isn't a lot of depth to his emotional experience. The author picked a tough story to write when Fadi's sister gets left behind. Fadi is constantly worrying about Mariam's whereabouts and his role in her being left - it feels a little redundant at times, yet how could it not be always on his mind? So you end up feeling vaguely worried and helpless, as Fadi is, for most of the book.