Senzai, N.H. Saving Kabul Corner
February 4th 2014
by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
This companion/sequel to Shooting Kabul is set in San Francisco. Ariana's family has an Afghan grocery, and they are doing well enough to purchase a house in Mission Hills, but when a new grocery store opens up, the family's future is in jeopardy. Not only does Pamir Market cut into Kabul Corner's income, but there is bad blood going back to an incident involving a goat that occurred when Ariana's grandmother was young.When both stores are vandalized, Ariana and her classmate Wali (who is the son of the owner of Pamir) start to suspect foul play from an outside source and begin to investigate. Also appearing are Ariana's cousin Laila, who is recently arrived from Afghanistan and whose father is still there, and Mariam, a character in Shooting Kabul.
Strengths: Lots of good details about life in this particular place-- the description of Wong Plaza was so detailed that I felt like I had been there! The different businesses shown, the owner's plight to keep the plaza occupied and away from developers; all very interesting. I also liked that this included recent immigrants and well as children who were born in the US. This would be a great one to pair with Pig Park.
Weaknesses: The children investigating was the weak part for me, but middle grade readers will enjoy it. It can be read as a stand alone, since the main character of Shooting Kabul, Fadi, appears only briefly.