On Two Feet and Wings by Abbas Kazerooni

Summary: He is in a foreign city, he is alone, and he is just a boy…

Close to his tenth birthday, Abbas has to leave his parents and friends, and flee Tehran. The Iran-Iraq war is at its bloodiest. The Ayatollahs, the rulers in Iran, have reduced the age of recruitment into the army. And if Abbas doesn’t leave soon, he will have to go to war.
In the strange and often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas has to grow up faster than ever. He has to learn difficult things – how to live on his own, how to make his way around, and most importantly, how to judge who is a friend and who an enemy.

Living alone for fifteen weeks in a run-down hotel, Abbas finds a friend in Mourat, the owner, while he waits to get his dream-visa to England. Meanwhile, he has to deal with his new life and work at several jobs to make ends meet. Most of all, he has to guard against being manipulated, and watch his back at all times.

This is young Abbas’s remarkable story of innocence and wisdom, and survival against the worst odds. Like all stories, this one is often happy and sometimes sad. But unlike most others, this one is true.

My Review:  This book is going on my 2017 favorites shelf, this book was a fantastic story about a boy who was NINE years old, escapes Iran ALONE to Turkey, with the hope of obtaining a British visa.  This story will break your heart, it will make you pull for the child, it will give you serious perspective into BOTH Iran and Turkey.

Truth is lately, I am obsessed with Iran, so many travel writers are obsessed with visiting and with all the recent turmoil it is almost like forbidden fruit and I can’t read enough fiction set in this country.

That being said, this book was not fiction, this was very much a true story.   This story is a powerful story about survival and I know I was personally worried about barbies at 9.  This author is only 4 years older than me, it is clear that my upbringing in the US was vastly different than his.  This story will give you powerful perspective that I highly recommend you put on your immediate to read now list.

five memorable and powerful stars.

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