Download The Turtle of Oman: A Novel Audiobook

The Turtle of Oman: A Novel Audiobook, by Naomi Shihab Nye Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Naomi Shihab Nye Narrator: Peter Ganim Publisher: Greenwillow Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2014 ISBN: 9780062345608
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This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is acclaimed poet and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye's first novel set in the Middle East since her acclaimed Habibi.

Aref Al-Amri does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase, but he refuses. Finally, she calls Siddi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Siddi's roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, and they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Siddi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref's suitcase—mementos of home.

Naomi Shihab Nye's warmth, attention to detail, and belief in the power of empathy and connection shines from every page. Features black-and-white spot art and decorations by Betsy Peterschmidt.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An enthusiastic boy from Oman has serious misgivings about temporarily moving from his homeland to Michigan…Spanning Aref’s final week in Oman, this sensitive chronicle perceptively conveys the feelings and fears of a boy about to leave the known and face the unknown. A warm and humorous peek at the profound and mundane details of moving from one country to another—a perfect pick for kids on the move.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Aref Al-Amri doesn’t want to accompany his professor parents on their three-year stint to Ann Arbor, Mich., so he spends his last days in Oman thinking of reasons not to go…While conveying Aref’s ambivalence about leaving home, this tender story also reveals the inner resources that will help him navigate his new environment.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Peter Ganim’s dreamlike voice transports listeners to Oman…Listeners will be reminded of their own experiences with change as Ganim applies the perfect blend of anxiety and misery to Aref as he stubbornly refuses to pack his suitcase. Ganim’s performance exceeds expectations by nailing the bond between Aref and his grandfather, Sidi, who helps his grandson create a pocket of courage to say goodbye to all he loves, including sea turtles, fresh apricots, and the deep blue Arabian sea. Sidi’s voice is full of love, wisdom, and a mischievous spirit, which imbue the pair’s last week together with magic.”


  • “The language is fresh and lyrical at times, with vivid descriptions of daily life and Aref’s obvious anxiety about leaving…The excellence of the portrayal of the setting and the emotional state of a young boy subject to the loving whims of his parents are vividly captured…Simply told, yet richly rewarding.”

    Library Journal

  • “The setting is so affectionately portrayed, with descriptions of colorful sights, mouth-watering tastes, and friendly interactions with fellow countrymen, that even when Aref is ready to say goodbye, readers may not be. Nye’s story, with spot art by Betsy Peterschmidt, is both quiet and exhilarating.”

    Horn Book

  • “Will deeply touch young readers who have also moved between countries—and it will enlighten their new friends.”


  • “Nye’s poetic prose is so filled with tenderness that I found myself slowing down and rereading long passages just to enjoy the feel of the words on my tongue. It’s been a long time since I have read a book that has brought me that special kind of pleasure, and I look forward to sharing this with children and adults.”


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About the Author

Naomi Shihab Nye has received a Lannan Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, and four Pushcart Prizes. Her poetry collection 19 Varieties of Gazelle was a finalist for the National Book Award; Honeybee was awarded the Arab American Book Award. Nye is currently serving on the board of chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. She has edited several honored and popular poetry anthologies—including Time You Let Me In, Salting the Ocean, and This Same Sky—and is the author of the novels Habibi and Going, Going. Nye lives with her family in San Antonio, Texas.

About the Narrator

Peter Ganim, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is an American actor who has appeared on stage, on television, and in film. He has performed voice-over work since 1994.