Everything sad is untrue (a true story)

Daniel Nayeri

eBook - 2020

A National Indie Bestseller An NPR Best Book of the Year A New York Times Best Book of the Year An Amazon Best Book of the Year A Booklist Editors' Choice A BookPage Best Book of the Year A NECBA Windows & Mirrors Selection A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year A Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year A Today.com Best of the Year PRAISE "A modern masterpiece." -The New York Times Book Review "Supple, sparkling and original." -The Wall Street Journal "Mesm...erizing." -TODAY.com "This book could change the world." -BookPage "Like nothing else you've read or ever will read." -Linda Sue Park "It hooks you right from the opening line." -NPR SEVEN STARRED REVIEWS ★ "A modern epic." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review ★ "A rare treasure of a book." -Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ "A story that soars." -The Bulletin, starred review ★ "At once beautiful and painful." -School Library Journal, starred review ★ "Raises the literary bar in children's lit." -Booklist, starred review ★ "Poignant and powerful." -Foreword Reviews, starred review ★ "One of the most extraordinary books of the year." -BookPage, starred review A sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it? "A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee," Nayeri writes early in the novel. In an Oklahoman middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family's history, stretching back years, decades, and centuries. At the core is Daniel's story of how they became refugees-starting with his mother's vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense, and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere. Anywhere becomes the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy, and then finally asylum in the U.S. Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore. Like Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights in a hostile classroom, Daniel spins a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE (a true story) is a tale of heartbreak and resilience and urges readers to speak their truth and be heard.

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Online Access
Instantly available on hoopla.
Cover image
Published
[United States] : Levine Querido 2020.
Language
English
Physical Description
1 online resource
Format
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
ISBN
9781646140022
1646140028
Access
AVAILABLE FOR USE ONLY BY IOWA CITY AND RESIDENTS OF THE CONTRACTING GOVERNMENTS OF JOHNSON COUNTY, UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, HILLS, AND LONE TREE (IA).
Main Author
Daniel Nayeri (author)
Corporate Author
hoopla digital (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* "A patchwork story is the shame of a refugee." It's with this refrain that 12-year-old Khosrou, known as Daniel to his skeptical Oklahoman classmates, tells "a version" of his life story. In the tradition of 1,001 Nights' Scheherazade, he gathers up the loose strands of his memory, weaving short personal vignettes into the Persian histories, myths, and legends that are his ancestry. The result is a winding series of digressions that takes the reader on a journey as intimate as it is epic, knitting together a tale of Daniel's youth in Iran, the perilous flight from home with his sister and mother, and their oppressive new beginning as refugees in Oklahoma. It's a story heavy with loss (of home, of his left-behind father, of innocence), light with humor and love (for his mother, the "unstoppable force"), rich in culture and language (and, somehow, never sentimental). Walking the line between fiction and non-, this is a kind of meta-memoir, a story about the stories that define us. It's a novel, narrated conversationally—and poetically—by a boy reaching for the truth in his fading youth. Nayeri challenges outright what young readers can handle, in form and content, but who can deny him when it's his own experience on display? He demands much of readers, but in return he gives them everything. A remarkable work that raises the literary bar in children's lit. Grades 7-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Marked by a distinctive voice—a straightforward mix of confiding, slyly humorous, and unsentimentally sorrowful—Nayeri's (Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow) impressive autobiographical novel is narrated by 12-year-old Khosrou, known as Daniel, who models himself after the legendary Scheherazade. The chapterless "patchwork story" follows Daniel through his dreamlike early childhood in Iran, a year in an Italian refugee camp with his sister and "unstoppable" mother (but without his larger-than-life father, who chose to stay behind), and their eventual asylum in Oklahoma. The text moves nimbly back and forth in time, depicting with equal vividness ancient Persian tales (a jasmine-scented village with saffron fields, courtyards, and fountains), family history (a legendary ancestral doctor), and the challenges of navigating life as an outsider in "a land of concrete and weathermen." Interspersed with his experiences is the narrator's accumulated wisdom on a broad range of subjects—cultural differences in bathroom habits, the creation of Persian rugs, the roots of today's conflicts between Shiites and Sunnis—which help establish Daniel's identity as a knowledgeable, thoughtful storyteller. Mesmerizing and hard-hitting at once, this work of personal mythology is a rare treasure of a book. Ages 10–up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary. (Aug.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–8— Nayeri weaves stories within stories in this fictionalized account of his formative years. He shares layers of rich information about life in Iran, refugee camps, and his experiences as an immigrant in the United States during the late 20th century. The themes of family, love, and truth are as strong as those of faith, endurance, memory, and storytelling as Khosrou (also known as Daniel) tries to tell the tales of his beautiful, complicated life and family. Nayeri provides clues about other characters without overexplaining them. Tough issues are discussed, particularly domestic violence, bullying, and life as a refugee and an immigrant, but there is levity, too. Khosrou's thoughts on Manwich sloppy joe sauce, using toilets in the U.S., and his father's overindulgence in Twinkies all lighten this tale. Without being didactic, the text communicates the universality of the human experience and the lack of empathy shown by some, not all, of those he encounters in the U.S. and in the refugee environments. The strongest developed characters are Daniel and his mother; however, readers experience varying levels of complexities of other characters like Daniel's father, stepfather, sister, teacher, and his friends (and enemies). VERDICT At once beautiful and painful, this timely story is highly recommended for middle grade readers.—Hilary Writt, formerly at Sullivan Univ., Lexington, KY Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. But Khosrou's stories are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran in the middle of the night with the secret police moments behind them, back to the refugee camps of Italy, and further back to Isfahan"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A National Indie BestsellerAn NPR Best Book of the YearA New York Times Best Book of the YearAn Amazon Best Book of the YearA Booklist Editors' ChoiceA BookPage Best Book of the YearA NECBA Windows & Mirrors SelectionA Publishers Weekly Best Book of the YearA Wall Street Journal Best Book of the YearA Today.com Best of the YearPRAISE"A modern masterpiece." 'the New York Times Book Review"Supple, sparkling and original." 'the Wall Street Journal"Mesmerizing." 'tODAY.com"This book could change the world." 'BookPage"Like nothing else you've read or ever will read." 'Linda Sue Park"It hooks you right from the opening line." 'NPRSEVEN STARRED REVIEWS" "A modern epic." 'Kirkus Reviews, starred review" "A rare treasure of a book." 'Publishers Weekly, starred review" "A story that soars." 'the Bulletin, starred review" "At once beautiful and painful." 'school Library Journal, starred review" "Raises the literary bar in children's lit." 'Booklist, starred review" "Poignant and powerful." 'Foreword Reviews, starred review" "One of the most extraordinary books of the year." 'BookPage, starred reviewA sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it?"A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee," Nayeri writes early in the novel. In an Oklahoman middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family's history, stretching back years, decades, and centuries. At the core is Daniel's story of how they became refugees'starting with his mother's vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense, and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere. Anywhere becomes the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy, and then finally asylum in the U.S. Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore.Like Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights in a hostile classroom, Daniel spins a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE (a true story) is a tale of heartbreak and resilience and urges readers to speak their truth and be heard.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Winner of the Michael L. Printz AwardChristopher Award WinnerMiddle East Book Award WinnerNational Indie BestsellerNPR Best Book of the YearNew York Times Best of the YearAmazon Best of the YearBooklist Editors' ChoiceBookPage Best of the YearNECBA Windows & Mirrors SelectionPublishers Weekly Best of the YearWall Street Journal Best of the YearToday.com Best of the YearWalter Awards Honor Book"A modern masterpiece."—The New York Times Book Review"Supple, sparkling and original."—The Wall Street Journal"Mesmerizing."—TODAY.com"This book could change the world."—BookPage"Like nothing else you've read or ever will read."—Linda Sue Park"It hooks you right from the opening line."—NPRSEVEN STARRED REVIEWS* "A modern epic."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review* "A rare treasure of a book."—Publishers Weekly, starred review* "A story that soars."—The Bulletin, starred review* "At once beautiful and painful."—School Library Journal, starred review* "Raises the literary bar in children's lit."—Booklist, starred review* "Poignant and powerful."—Foreword Reviews, starred review* "One of the most extraordinary books of the year."—BookPage, starred reviewA sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it?"A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee," Nayeri writes early in the novel. In an Oklahoman middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family's history, stretching back years, decades, and centuries. At the core is Daniel's story of how they became refugees—starting with his mother's vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense, and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere. Anywhere becomes the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy, and then finally asylum in the U.S. Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore.Like Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights in a hostile classroom, Daniel spins a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE (a true story) is a tale of heartbreak and resilience and urges readers to speak their truth and be heard. A National Indie BestsellerAn NPR Best Book of the YearA New York Times Best Book of the YearAn Amazon Best Book of the YearA Booklist Editors' ChoiceA BookPage Best Book of the YearA NECBA Windows & Mirrors SelectionA Publishers Weekly Best Book of the YearA Wall Street Journal Best Book of the YearA Today.com Best of the YearPRAISE"A modern masterpiece." —The New York Times Book Review"Supple, sparkling and original." —The Wall Street Journal"Mesmerizing." —TODAY.com"This book could change the world." —BookPage"Like nothing else you've read or ever will read." —Linda Sue Park"It hooks you right from the opening line." —NPRSEVEN STARRED REVIEWS? "A modern epic." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review? "A rare treasure of a book." —Publishers Weekly, starred review? "A story that soars." —The Bulletin, starred review? "At once beautiful and painful." —School Library Journal, starred review? "Raises the literary bar in children's lit." —Booklist, starred review? "Poignant and powerful." —Foreword Reviews, starred review? "One of the most extraordinary books of the year." —BookPage, starred reviewA sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it?"A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee," Nayeri writes early in the novel. In an Oklahoman middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family's history, stretching back years, decades, and centuries. At the core is Daniel's story of how they became refugees—starting with his mother's vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense, and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere. Anywhere becomes the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy, and then finally asylum in the U.S. Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore.Like Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights in a hostile classroom, Daniel spins a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE (a true story) is a tale of heartbreak and resilience and urges readers to speak their truth and be heard.