One Half from the East

One Half from the EastOne Half from the East
by Nadia Hashimi
Grades 4 & up

When Obayda’s father loses his leg in a car bombing attack, her family must move from their apartment in Kabul to the countryside with their extended family. Life is very different in this small village for Obayda and her three older sisters. There are greater restrictions on girls, plus their father won’t leave his bedroom. When her bossy aunt convinces her mother that a boy would bring better luck to the family, Obayda is “changed” into Obayd. Her hair is cut off, she wears boys’ clothes, and goes to the boys’ class at school. Obayd finds he likes his new found freedom and the way he is treated as a boy. When he meets another bacha posh, they try to find a way to stay boys forever, without returning to the restrictive life of Afghani girls. A fascinating look at the harm of gender stereotyping, and what it truly means to be a boy or a girl. Highly recommended for grades 4 & up.

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