Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thunder over Kandahar by Sharon E. McKay

Thunder over Kandahar
By Sharon E.McKay
Photographs by Rafal Gerszak.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2010.
260 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $21.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-266-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-267-6 (hc.).
Subject Heading:
Afghan War, 2001- -Juvenile fiction.
Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up

Highly Recommended
* Canadian Author 


"I wish with all my heart that you were in school. I love my country, Daughter, but here we have been robbed of our most precious gifts: thought and imagination. Only in an atmosphere of peace and security can artists, poets, and writers flourish. Without our artists and storytellers, we have
 no history, and without history our future is unmoored-we drift. It is art, never war, that carries culture forward."
Thunder Over Kandahar
McKay tells the story from the perspective of Yasmine, an Afghan girl, who has just moved with her family  to Afghanistan from England. Initially, Yasmine does not understand the culture, land, attitudes, or the misogynistic society. As the story unravels Yasmine befriends Tamanna and the story is told through alternating viewpoints that present both sides of the cultural divide, question the role of foreigners and the military, uncover the opression of women, highlight the bond of friendship, and most of all capture the love and pride that Afghans have for their country.  

To learn more about the premise of the book watch the book trailer of Thunder over Kandahar created by Annick Publishing.

When I picked up Thunder Over Kandahar I assumed it would be similar to other novels dealing with war torn countries. In a lot of ways it was: the author spent time overseas to research and immerse herself in the culture,and the main characters were faced with the chaos and terrors of war. So what makes this book stand out, and how is it different than the others? To me, it was the unique perspective and insight that McKay shared with the reader, and the tough questions the reader is left to ponder and grapple with.

A riveting story of current day Afghanistan, the perils of war, and how friendship, hope, and love can prevail even in the most darkest of times.

To learn more about the Sharon McKay's experiences in Afghanistan watch the interview below.

Reviews and Awards

Saskatchewan Curriculum Connections
  • Glossary is provided
  • This book is available as an audio book through the Public Library. It is important to note that there is no glossary or authors note provided in the audio book.
  • English Language Arts: Social, cultural, and historical context.
  • Social Studies: Power and Authority, Interactions and interdependence.


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