Under the Persimmon Tree

Under the Persimmon Tree Intertwined portraits of courage and hope in Afghanistan and Pakistan Najmah a young Afghan girl whose name means star suddenly finds herself alone when her father and older brother are conscripted

  • Title: Under the Persimmon Tree
  • Author: Suzanne Fisher Staples
  • ISBN: 9780374380250
  • Page: 277
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Intertwined portraits of courage and hope in Afghanistan and Pakistan Najmah, a young Afghan girl whose name means star, suddenly finds herself alone when her father and older brother are conscripted by the Taliban and her mother and newborn brother are killed in an air raid An American woman, Elaine, whose Islamic name is Nusrat, is also on her own She waiIntertwined portraits of courage and hope in Afghanistan and Pakistan Najmah, a young Afghan girl whose name means star, suddenly finds herself alone when her father and older brother are conscripted by the Taliban and her mother and newborn brother are killed in an air raid An American woman, Elaine, whose Islamic name is Nusrat, is also on her own She waits out the war in Peshawar, Pakistan, teaching refugee children under the persimmon tree in her garden while her Afghan doctor husband runs a clinic in Mazar i Sharif, Afghanistan.Najmah s father had always assured her that the stars would take care of her, just as Nusrat s husband had promised that they would tell Nusrat where he was and that he was safe As the two look to the skies for answers, their fates entwine Najmah, seeking refuge and hoping to find her father and brother, begins the perilous journey through the mountains to cross the border into Pakistan And Nusrat s persimmon tree school awaits Najmah s arrival Together, they both seek their way home.Known for her award winning fiction set in South Asia, Suzanne Fisher Staples revisits that part of the world in this beautifully written, heartrending novel Under the Persimmon Tree is a 2006 Bank Street Best Children s Book of the Year.

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    About “Suzanne Fisher Staples

    • Suzanne Fisher Staples

      Suzanne Fisher Staples is the author of six books addressed to children and adolescents Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A , she grew up in a small community around Northwestern Pennsylvania She had three siblings, a sister and two brothers Suzanne went to Lakeland High School in Scott Township, Pennsylvania Later, she graduated from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania She got a job for 10 years being a news reporter and editor for the United Press International She worked in many places across the U.S.A and Asia, including Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, New York, and Washington DC In 1985, she returned to Pakistan to assess the conditions of poor, rural women and report back to the United States Agency for International Development.

    612 thoughts on “Under the Persimmon Tree

    • Draining. The first person present tense was unbearable. It was whiny and unamusing. I did not connect with a character who tells me everything.

    • Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples is a significant book to read to help promote a global society. Due to the war in the Middle East and much of the media coverage done on it there has been a great misconception created about Islam and the majority of Muslims. News and media has a tendency to focus only on the very worst. Media can even exaggerate news in order to suit a specific agenda. Due to this, unfortunately, many Muslims and middle easterners have been misrepresented. Unde [...]

    • I think I can use this at school. War torn Afghanistan. Map in the front of the book is helpful. Completely benign for language and sex. Young girl meets an American teacher and the stories coincide all while the story of family/culture and tradition coincide. The writing is not great- not a literary work at all, yet the glimpse into Afghanistan might be worth reading this . Probably middle school level yet people die, kidnapping, orphans, blood. (Teacher view)

    • Overall, I really enjoyed the book. At first I wasn’t too big of a fan, but then once the family problems came into play I wanted to keep reading. Every chapter switched between Najmah and Nusrat and that was a little confusing at the start because I didn’t know what was happening. The book was very upbeat and it has a good story behind it. It shows how important family really is to people and that parents would do anything for their children. This may not be a true story, but this stuff rea [...]

    • I got to page 100 and stopped. I just can't do it. This godawful piece of garbage beat me. I'm actually wondering how I got this far. There are so many things wrong with this book that I'm not even sure I can list them all.A large amount of the sentences have an absence of commas, making them either extremly choppy and short or so long that my internal voice even has to take a breath. Either way, it is exceptionally annoying. A great example of this would be in page 7, where it bares the sentenc [...]

    • This book starts out telling two separate stories, one of a woman, the other of a girl, both living in the Middle East during Taliban seizure. Najmah, is the young daughter of a shepherd family living in a Northern Afghanistan village called Golestan. Soldiers take Najmah’s father and brother, leaving her, her mother, and baby brother. Later, bombs take the lives of Najmah’s mother and baby brother and destroy their family home. Najmah heads to Pakistan in search for her father and brother. [...]

    • I loved Staples book Shabanu, but was disappointed in this one. It is set in Afghanistan and Pakistan during 2001 - 2002 (?) and is the story of a a girl and a young woman. The woman converts to Islam, marries an Afghan doctor and moves to Peshawar where she runs a refugee school and he goes off to run a clinic in northern Afghanistan. The girl lives in rural Afghanistan and her family is killed/conscripted and she ends up at the school in Peshawar. So much of this story is unlikely and feels ar [...]

    • This was an excellent book! One of those books that I think everyone should read. A book that should be on every school's "reading list." The book takes place roughly 2001-2002 in Afghanistan and Pakistan following two people: one a shepherd girl from a fictional North Afghanistan village and the other the American wife of an Afghan doctor who is living near a refugee camp for Afghans in Pakistan while her husband works at a clinic in war torn Northern Afghanistan. A series of probable events br [...]

    • Under the Persimmon Tree is about Najmah, a girl of about eleven, who watches the Talaban kidnap her father and brother, and later her mother and baby brother are killed in an air raid. At the same time, the story of Nusrat, (originally named Elaine) who is a blonde white girl from New York, who met and married Faiz, a doctor from Afghanistan. Faiz hearing about the war in Afghanistan feels he must return home and help his people. Nusrat returns with him and teaches school at a refugee camp in P [...]

    • When I was reading this book, A long walk to Water popped up in my mind. Their both so alike in so many ways: two points of views and they both intercept, child soldiers, losing your family but finding them in the end, and etc. Under the Persimmon Tree really makes you look at things differently, just like A Long Walk To Water. Also, I like how this book some insight on how people lives are in India or Pakistan. This book didn't disappoint me whatsoever, and I hope that you get a chance to read [...]

    • Not bad, but stories like this one set in war torn Afghanistan are becoming more common than they used to be. It's hard not to become a little desensitised to characters and storylines that follow a similar vein to those that I've read before (eg. The orphaned child, the American woman Muslim convert). Having said that, this novel is aimed at young adult readers and as such it would probably be quite an eye-opening read for those who haven't had exposure to this sort of subject matter before.

    • This was a very good book. It has many insights about the Muslim faith. I liked how she spoke in 3rd and 1st person when changing different characters. It helped with the point of view and made the story more interesting and catchy. I would recommend this book.

    • Wayyy to depressing. Too many characters with no introduction. Instead of an intro, the author goes right into action. Yes, it was more interesting, but there were too many characters and too sad. Unless you read books for deaths, don't read this.

    • Really did not enjoy reading this book. I thought it was confusing, and it took me a while to finally realize what was going on

    • The book bored me half to death. Basically, there was 270 pages of buildup- but no climatic ending. What a disappointment.

    • Najmah and Nusrat are two strangers who meet under strange events. After losing and being away from their loved ones, both set a dangerous passage of searching for what keeps them alive. Najmah is young Afghan girl who loses her family in a sudden moment. Her mother and baby bother die in an air attack and her father and elder brother are taken by Taliban to fight for them under force. She takes a decision not to stop hopping and starts her journey of searching for her lost ones and along she me [...]

    • Under the Persimmon tree is a beautiful book about a young girl named Najmah who has the heart of a pure gem. I love this book not only for it's amazing story line and characters but also for the meaning. The meaning of this book is so beautiful and touching it made me want to put my self in Najmah's shoes. Najmah soon leaves everything she has ever known behind her and looks ahead to continue her new life miles and miles ahead of her. But there is only one thing, mother baby brother dead, fathe [...]

    • It's a sad stories, but hold a big picture that people should have their own opinion and work on it. At the end, early or late, we still can manage it. With such a strong spirit, the main character Najmar(star) and Nusrat(help) finally suffer the common pain of losing family member(s) and go on with life. Whatever happening to them, they still do whatever they can, even faking genders, sleeping near the filthy place of rats, "stealing with dignity", or just endure the difficulty of staying lonel [...]

    • Najmah, a young Afghan girl, finds herself alone when her father and brother are recruited by the Taliban and her mother and baby brother are killed in an air raid. Another woman who is also alone, teaches refugee children under a persimmon tree while her husband who's a doctor runs a clinic in Afghanistan. The story is about the two points of views that eventually come together, both who depend on the stars for answers. They desire to feel protected and to find the remains of their families. Th [...]

    • Let me start off by saying I had to read this for school. The book was a tragedy about the Taliban around 2001 when the twin towers collapsed. This book is just dripping in grief and sorrowA unique feature in the book is two point of views; Nusrat and Najmah.Personally I had difficulty pronouncing a lot of the words because they involved Islam and Muslim words and etc*. My favorite character was Faiz, but I never got to actually "meet" this character he was only in flashbacks. I did enjoy the bo [...]

    • I hated this book. If i could give it less than one star I would.It's plot line was the most confusing thing ever. There were two stories happening at the same time and often switched between the two without warning. I wouldn't really mind this if at least one of the stories was a good one but neither of them were. There were both boring and didn't keep my attention at all. If you are into confusing plot lines and boring stories then this book is for you, otherwise find something else other than [...]

    • Interesting, life in Afghanistan for a child and an American teacher being hounded by the Taliban. From a series of books subbed byAmnesty International.

    • I thought the actual story had the potential to be very interesting and good but it was written in a way that was slow and boring, therefore I did not enjoy it.

    • In my opinion This book was a good book. But it gets boring as you go because there is little action. It was fun because it talks about the war in Pakestan and the situation in there. And how hard Najmah life was. The terrorists took her dad and her brother. And then she start to search for them. She had to leave her city and get help from people to find her dad and brother. I recommend this book for who like to know about the war situation and adventure.

    • Afghanistan is a land of war and poverty in which there are rarely any happy endings. How can you tell its story with honesty, sensitivity and realism without leaving the reader depressed, angry or apathetic? Suzanne Fisher Staples, who worked in the region as a journalist, has found a way. This exquisitely beautiful book changed me in ways I am having a hard time nailing down. Yes, I learned far more than I knew about this ancient culture, but that is only a part of it. I know what it didn't do [...]

    • I read this in search of a book I could use to update Shabanu for middle schoolers. To my surprise, the first chapter of the book seemed like Shabanu's character (but less detailed and less likable?) had been transported to Afghanistan. Maybe the everyday lives of girls in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan aren't substantially different, but similarities down to Najmah also feeding a baby animal (goat rather than camel) by dipping her fingers in milk and letting the baby suck on them seemed like St [...]

    • Under the Persimmon Tree is a story of hardships, hope, family and strength. The book is about a young Afghan girl, named Najmah and her journey of living through the Afghan war of 2001. The young girl lives with her mother, father, and brother. After a Taliban raid, her father and brother are taken captive, and later after a bombing, she is left alone, hungry, and forced to fend for herself. Here the idea of support and community comes into play, and Najmah finds a group of villagers who help h [...]

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