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Extended Audio Sample Thunder Over Kandahar Audiobook, by Sharon E. McKay Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (283 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sharon E. McKay Narrator: Mozhan Marnò Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9780307879707
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A powerful novel of enduring friendship set amid the terror and chaos of present-day Afghanistan.

Best friends Tamanna and Yasmine cannot believe their good fortune when a school is set up in their Afghan village; however, their dreams for the future are shattered when the Taliban burn down the school and threaten the teacher and students with death. As Tamanna faces an arranged marriage to an older man, and the Taliban target Yasmine’s Western-educated family, the girls realize they must flee. Traveling through dangerous mountain passes, the two unaccompanied teens find themselves in mortal danger as they confront land mines, a suicide bomber, and roving bands of Taliban. But when the two girls are separated, they are left without the one thing that has helped them survive—each other. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Thunder over Kandahar provides a gripping, empathetic look at one of the most dangerous and misogynistic societies in existence today.”

    Canadian Materials

  • “Informative and inspiring…well-constructed and believable…This novel should become essential classroom reading.”

    Canadian Children’s Book Centre

  • “Actress Mozhan Marno’s dramatic reading turns Sharon E. McKay’s novel Thunder Over Kandahar into powerful theater for the ears.”

    Sacramento Bee (audio review)

  • “What shines through this sad narrative is the love Afghans have for their country…[A] gripping tale.”

    School Library Journal

  • “The girls’ alternating viewpoints capture the heartbreaking trauma and concerned young people will be caught up in the issues including the roles of foreigners and the UN, as well as the oppression of women.”


  • “Well stocked with credible cultural detail…[This] high-tension odyssey leads to a violent climax and an aftermath marked by surprising twists.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Budding | 1/30/2014

    " This exciting book describes what life in contemporary Afghanistan could be like for girls. It tells the story of a British-born girl of Afghan heritage who moves with her family back to Afghanistan and befriends a girl who was born and raised there. Due to the Taliban's hard-line on behaviours expected of young women and their distrust of the educated parents of the British-born girl, she and her family end up needing to escape back to England. Yasmine and her Afghan-born friend, Tammana, have to escape on their own and learn to rely on each other for strength and support as they flee. This book will appeal to intermediate grade readers and was nominated for the Forest of Reading Red Maple award in 2011. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam Gardow | 12/27/2013

    " Wow, this one was riveting! The story of two friends and the lengths they have to go to escape from Taliban territory into Packistan. I listened to the audio, which was very good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeraesah | 12/14/2013

    " I thought that the book Thunder Over Kandahar is a pretty good book. I didn't really like the ending because I thought that it was boring and I thought it could have been better. The characters were interesting my favorite was Yasmine, she was born and raised in britain and she moves to Afghanistan because her dad got a job as a professor. She's my favorite because she's strong, brave, smart and caring. She stands up for her friends, family and for herself, and she cares and loves them. I found it surprising when Tammana says that she has to get married and she's only like twelve and she doesn't even know the guy. I thought it was sad when Yasmine lost her memory. The setting which is in Afghanistan, seems like a scary and dangerous place to live in. They discriminate women. Think that women are good for nothing, they don't let women go outside without a man and they don't let them go to school. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monica Stanczyk | 11/19/2013

    " This is a pretty quick read about two friends in modern day Afghanistan. It is a pretty realistic book but for some reason didn't keep my interest for very long. At one point when Yasmine lost her memory, I thought that was so out of the blue and random, I think the author could have worked that into the story a little more smoothly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MrsB | 11/16/2013

    " This was a pretty engaging story, but I kind of felt like it was a little over the top. I don't doubt that any of those activities could be directed towards women by the Taliban in a traditional Afghan area. However, I struggled with it all happening to the same people. Not fair, I know, because it's a book and not real life. To my better high school readers I would still recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns over this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Omi | 11/14/2013

    " Stunning! An amazing insite on what it is like in the Middle East from several angles. It really is hard to describe this book. The writing itself may be a little weak at times, but the grip and info makes up for it and vice-versa. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Drayer | 8/20/2013

    " A GREAT young adult book about friendship, cultural identy, and current events all wrapped around a good story line. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 8/15/2013

    " This brave story is memorable and necessary; a story of friendship, love and trust. Taking place in Afghanistan this story unfolds with brutal reality showing us what it means to follow the "call home". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 8/11/2013

    " An excellent introduction for young readers into the complex situation that is Afghanistan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anny | 7/30/2013

    " Its about a girl named Yasmine making a strong friendship with a girl named Tamanna.They even risk their lifes, when they barely know each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaclyn | 5/20/2013

    " Great book! I read it in one day. Coming of age story of two girls in Afghanistan. You can tell that the author tried really hard to spend time in Afghanistan and write it from the characters point of views. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Victoria | 3/21/2013

    " It was an alright book, quick read. I wasn't overly impressed with the writing style, but it was a good story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mitch | 1/25/2013

    " I am on page 19 and it is very good if you are looking for a book that goes straight to the point. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chase | 8/31/2012

    " so far i am on page 45 and I am loving the book becsue it's fast but not too fast.i would give this book five stars becuse the charactors(tamanna and yasmine) are great they are able to use they're emotions to describe more of they're suroundings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Lindstrom | 1/11/2012

    " Another great book by McKay. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 11/21/2011

    " Highly recommend this one! What a beautiful and powerful story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yoits yoits | 5/31/2011

    " This book is about two girls, Yasmine and Tamanna, who are both running away from something. Yasmine was targeted by the Taliban. Tamanna was to be forced to marry a man. This book shows a good amount of friendship. It is recommended to the people who like friendship. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nadia | 5/10/2011

    " This book was interesting, informative and unique. The pictures added a depth to each chapter that I have never encountered. It was brilliant! I'd definitely like to read more of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 1/31/2011

    " Pretty much held my breath the whole time, but don't let that deter you from checking out this very moving and read about another world -- one that's both alien & universal. "

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About the Author
Author Sharon E. McKay

Sharon E. McKay is the award-winning author of such novels as Charlie Wilcox. She is the first young-adult writer to be named a Canadian War Artist by the Canadian Forces Artist Program, under whose auspices she went to Afghanistan in 2008 in order to research Thunder over Kandahar.

About the Narrator

Mozhan Marnò is an Iranian American film and television actress, most notably appearing in Charlie Wilson’s War and Bones. Her audiobook narrations have won her four AudioFile Earphones Awards.