Review Blog

Nov 29 2012

On two feet and wings by Abbas Kazerooni

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Allen and Unwin, 2012. 258 pgs., p/b. ISBN: 9781743311059.
(Age: Suitable for upper primary - lower secondary) Highly recommended. On two feet and wings is based on real events that happened to the author Abbas when he was 9 years old. This is Abbas' story as he remembers it. The story starts in Tehran in the 1980's during the Iran-Iraq war where Abbas lives with his mother, father and grandmother. With Iran reducing the Army recruitment age to 8, Abbas' father decides he must get his son out of Iran. Abbas will leave for Turkey with his mother to apply for a British visa. Abbas' father is unable to travel with them because his passport was confiscated by the new rulers of Iran. It is at the airport that Abbas' mother is told she can't leave Iran. Abbas is forced to flee the country by himself, leaving his parents and everything he loves behind. At the age of 9, Abbas is alone and terrified in the strange and frightening city of Istanbul. He doesn't speak the language, has to fend for himself, find his way around, apply for a British visa and guard against being taken advantage of.
This is a gripping and page turning debut novel by Abbas Kazerooni, now a lawyer in California. It is an inspiring and moving true story, told from a child's point of view. The courage shown by 9 year old Abbas is inspiring and On two feet and wings is a book that can be enjoyed as much by 12-14 year olds as by adults.
Michelle Thomson

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