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Extended Audio Sample Thunder Over Kandahar, 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:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • 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

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.