This powerful and poignant coming-of-age middle grade debut novel follows an Arab American girl named Yasmeen as she moves to San Antonio with her family and navigates finding friendship—and herself. Perfect for fans of Other Words for Home, Front Desk, and American as Paneer Pie.
When twelve-year-old Yasmeen Khoury moves with her family to San Antonio, all she wants to do is fit in. But her classmates in Texas are nothing like her friends in the predominantly Arab neighborhood back in Detroit where she grew up. Almost immediately, Yasmeen feels like the odd girl out, and as she faces middle school mean girls and tries to make new friends, she feels more alone than ever before.
Then Yasmeen meets her neighbor, Ayelet Cohen, a first-generation Israeli American. As the two girls grow closer, Yasmeen is grateful to know someone who understands what it feels like when your parents’ idea of home is half a world away.
But when Yasmeen’s grandmother moves in after her home in Jerusalem is destroyed, Yasmeen and Ayelet must grapple with how much closer the events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are than they’d realized. As Yasmeen begins to develop her own understandings of home, heritage, and most importantly, herself, can the two girls learn there’s more that brings them together than might tear them apart . . . and that peace begins with them?
A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD GOLD STANDARD SELECTION!
Jacquetta Nammar Feldman loves writing poetry and stories of all kinds. When she’s not curled up with a book or typing at her computer, she can be found hiking the beautiful hills of Austin, Texas, with her husband, two labradoodles, and a Havanese. She earned her B.S. in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, and she’s currently a candidate for an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Wishing Upon the Same Stars is her debut novel. Please visit her online at jacquettanammarfeldman.com.
This absorbing story compassionately tackles challenging subjects: the immigrant experience, explicit racism, family strife, and the enormity of Palestinian Israeli history. Feldman offers an ultimately optimistic message of hope and a chance for peace in ways both big and small. — Booklist
Many readers will see themselves in Feldman’s debut novel. This valuable title explores an issue rarely discussed in contemporary children’s literature. Highly recommended for middle grade collections. — School Library Journal