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Showing posts from January 5, 2010

Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji

Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji (NAL Trade, 2009) isn't marketed as a young adult novel, but many teen readers will find it appealing.

It is the early 1970s and the people of Iran are bewildered and pained by political injustice. In Tehran, seventeen-year-old Pasha is in love with the girl next door. Zari is beautiful, intelligent, older - and engaged to Pasha's mentor and friend, Ramin. Ramin, who is better known as Doctor, is a university student activist who hates the Shah and his government. Pasha's best friend Ahmed is in love too, with Faheemeh, a girl being forced to marry a man she does not love.

The chapters in Rooftops of Tehran alternate between the summer Pasha falls in love with Zari and his time in a psychiatric hospital almost a year later. The novel has a leisurely pace and the reasons behind Pasha's confinement are slowly revealed. Readers are taken through the development of Pasha, Doctor, Zari, Ahmed, and Faheemeh's relationships as friends, n…