Reviewed by Kirin
(Note: This review was posted on February 2, 2017, just days after a gunman opened fire at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City on January 29. Six worshippers were killed and five others were seriously injured.)
Sitti’s Secrets was published in 1994 and given the events of the week, I’d say it is more relevant today than it was when written. And if by some chance the events of the week haven’t affected your children, then the poetry and soul of the book still makes it an amazingly powerful story.
Mona travels from America to Palestine to visit her grandma, her Sitti. Without the ease of speaking the same language, Sitti and Mona learn to communicate and build a tight bond cut too short by a vacation coming to an end. When Mona returns she sees the news and writes a letter to the President, telling her Sitti’s secrets, telling him they would be great friends, and telling him they only want peace.
Truly Nye is a poet, even in Turtle of Oman her words transport you to a place where time slows down and the connection between a child and a grandparent make you nostalgically yearn for a simpler time. Having spent my summer’s abroad visiting my grandma I could relate to so much of this book and truly had to still my heart. The little things, like examining your grandma’s hand, or hanging out laundry, or brushing her hair. Even that dreaded final hug as you prepare to leave, I could relate and it was enchanting. Continue reading.
Sitti's Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
Published by Aladdin on October 1st 1997
Genres: Middle East, Multigenerational, Peace
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2
Review Source: Notes from an Islamic School Librarian
Publisher's Synopsis: When Sitti, an American girl, goes to visit her grandmother in her small Middle Eastern village on the other side of the world, they don't need words to understand each other's heart. Full color.