STARRED REVIEW
May 2016

A hilarious and heartfelt look at being a young immigrant

By Firoozeh Dumas
It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel is a charming, authentic and insightful account of an immigrant trying to make sense of America. The book also provides a peek at a moment in history when relations between Iran and the U.S. were severed due to the hostage crisis of 1979.
Share this Article:

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel is a charming, authentic and insightful account of an immigrant trying to make sense of America. The book also provides a peek at a moment in history when relations between Iran and the U.S. were severed due to the hostage crisis of 1979.

Delightful young Zomorod Yousefzadeh goes by Cindy, taken from “The Brady Bunch” television show. She is a new arrival to Southern California, where she must figure out the unwritten rules of middle-school conduct while serving as her mother’s interpreter. Her desire to fit in, combined with her kind-hearted embarrassment of her parents, leaves readers rooting for Cindy’s success.

This coming-of-age story takes a dark turn with the backdrop of heightening tensions between the U.S. and Iran. As an Iranian, Cindy is expected to be the expert on this political crisis, and she does her best to help people understand the situation. But she doesn’t fully succeed in her attempts to educate people, and she and her family become victims of a hate crime and racist remarks. While trying to discover the perpetrators of the crime, Cindy realizes she, too, was quick to unfairly judge a classmate.

After her award-winning memoir, Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh Dumas makes a humorous mark with her semi-autobiographical middle-grade debut.

 

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

By Firoozeh Dumas
Clarion
ISBN 9780544612310

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!