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Samuillah and Fatima are modern counterparts of Romeo and Juliet as they discover forbidden love. The setting for this harrowing story of young love and hope is contemporary Afghanistan.

Childhood friends Sam, a Pashtun boy, and Fatima, a Hazara girl, know that their maturing love will be denied because of family pride and class differences. Unexpectedly pushed to accept the possibility of arranged marriages, the young lovers make a run for a new life that will cost them everything but each other.

The author draws on her own heritage, her journalism experience, and an understanding of a place wracked by war and torn apart by differing understandings of traditions and faith. Although painful and brutal,The Secret Sky is sensitively written for older adolescents and adults alike. Grades 7 and up. (Philomel)

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