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Download Words in the Dust Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Words in the Dust, by Trent Reedy Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (786 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Trent Reedy Narrator: Ariana Delawari Publisher: Scholastic Inc Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her—“Inshallah,” God willing.

Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to her village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha—but can she dare to hope they’ll come true?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sensitive and empathetic…I like the way Reedy presents cultural differences and breaks down stereotypes.”

    Independent on Sunday (London)

  • “Infused with poetry, and wrought with hardship, the story gives a bleak, but ultimately hopeful, portrayal of girlhood in Afghanistan. It is full of hard truths, painful lessons, beautiful human interaction, and the promise of possibility.”

    School Library Journal

  • “[A] deeply moving view of a young girl caught between opportunity and tradition in contemporary Afghanistan.”


  • “Trent Reedy’s beautiful, heartbreaking story informs us with the initimate details of imperfect, ordinary lives in an exotic land. With great compassion and honesty, he touches us with the familiar light and darkness that live in every human heart. I love this story—it leaves no doubt that hope and love speak the same language everywhere.”

    Suzanne Fisher, author of Newbery Honor book Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind

  • Winner of the Christopher Award
  • Winner of ALA Best Book for Young Adults for fiction
  • Winner of the Parents' Choice Award for historical fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by K.A. Barson | 2/4/2014

    " Loved this book! The characters were real. The world was truthful: harsh, beautiful, & hopeful all at the same time. I savored the language & ached for these girls. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Elana | 2/2/2014

    " deffinently a good read.! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nicole Barber | 2/2/2014

    " My sister read this book in her 9th grade class and she recommended it to me. I thought it was pretty good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Peggy | 1/30/2014

    " This is a good teen book to introduce the culture of afghanistan and how women are treated. But, I felt the book dragged on and on about the same issues. I think many young people may give up on the book before the ending which would be too bad because the ending was very good and very satisfying. Some very good issues for young people to think about and discuss. "

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