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Review: In the Sea There Are Crocodiles

March 18, 2012

When ten year old Enaiat’s Afghan village falls under Taliban rule, his mother knew she must do something to protect him, so she took him across the border to Pakistan and left him there all alone.  As she left him, his mother made Enaiat promise that he would never use drugs, never use weapons, and never cheat or steal.  Enaiat managed to survive, never breaking the promises he made to his mother.

In the Sea There Are Crocodiles, by Fabio Geda, is Enaiat’s story from the approximate ages of 10 to 15, since he’s not sure of his exact age.  It’s told in Enaiat’s words with a few interjections by Geda and I found it to be a fantastic story of a remarkable young man.  He tells his tale in a matter-of-fact manner, never feeling sorrow for himself or looking for sympathy.

I found Enaiat’s story to be touching and moving.  I was amazed at his resourcefulness and can-do attitude.  He learned the harsh realities of life quickly and managed to come out on top.  I learned so much from this resilient young man.

I believe this book is being marketed toward adults, but it’s a book that teens can enjoy as well.  As a matter of fact, I think teens could benefit from reading it.  It would be a great book to use in high school classrooms.

I read In the Sea There Are Crocodiles for my book club and everyone enjoyed the book.  We all decided that neither we, nor our children, would have been able to survive under the circumstances Enaiat did.  We had a good discussion about refuges and immigration and the extremes mothers will go through to protect their children. Book Browse has some great reading guide questions.

Review copy provided by Doubleday.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
31 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2012 7:13 am

    I have always been intrigued by the cover of this one!

    Interesting about marketing decisions – I rarely can figure them out!

  2. March 18, 2012 8:20 am

    Amazing story. I know neither myself or my kids could survive. I am surprised that it’s not considered YA.

  3. March 18, 2012 9:11 am

    I’m amazed at some of the trials that the youth, in war torn countries. I only hope that the scars that are left will heal in a positive effort rather than a vengeful one.

  4. March 18, 2012 10:24 am

    Just the cover and the title of this book alone are enticing. Thanks for the review – I hadn’t heard of this one before!

  5. March 18, 2012 10:25 am

    I can’t imagine how a mother would have the strength to leave her 10 year old son in a different country all alone. He has to have been enormously strong and mature for his age, but still . . .

  6. talesofwhimsy permalink
    March 18, 2012 11:23 am

    This sounds excellent!

  7. March 18, 2012 11:26 am

    I am about half way through this one and need to finish it still. SO far it is quite the book.

  8. March 18, 2012 11:40 am

    Now I’m really curious about this book. I’m going to see if my library has it.

  9. March 18, 2012 12:13 pm

    Haven’t heard of this book before, but it does sound like an amazing story. Sounds like it would appeal to a wide range of readers.

  10. March 18, 2012 2:02 pm

    I won this book from Cheryl (CMash) but haven’t read it yet. I’m moving it to the top of my TBR list!

    For some reason I’m unable to post using my WP log in, so am using Twitter.

  11. March 18, 2012 3:30 pm

    It sounds touching as well as moving.

  12. March 18, 2012 5:01 pm

    IT does sound like a really good book

  13. sandynawrot permalink
    March 18, 2012 5:48 pm

    I think it sounds like a great book club pick…and I LOVE that cover. (Finally I have the WP commenting thing working…I was about to give up.)

  14. Caitie F permalink
    March 18, 2012 7:18 pm

    Sounds like it was great! I am adding it to my to-read list!

  15. March 18, 2012 8:24 pm

    So this is non-fiction??? I can’t imagine doing that … but then I can’t imagine living under Taliban rule either.

    • March 18, 2012 8:29 pm

      It’s considered fiction, but it’s based on a true story. I’m really not sure why it’s considered fiction because from the research I’ve done, it appears to accurately portray Enaiat’s life.

  16. March 18, 2012 10:41 pm

    How interesting! It also has a great title and cover. I will have to see about reading it.

  17. March 18, 2012 11:25 pm

    What an emotional an inspiring read! Sounds like the perfect pick for a book club.

  18. March 19, 2012 2:20 am

    I have seen this book around, but hadn’t realized that it was based on a true story.

  19. March 19, 2012 9:43 am

    I have this book, and it has been sitting on my shelf neglected for some time. It does indeed sound wonderful, and like something I would enjoy. I am betting that when I read it, I will also marvel at all the things that Enaiat had to go through in his day to day life. Great review today, Kathy!

  20. March 19, 2012 12:21 pm

    Every time I see this book and its cover I think of amputated legs. It’s horrible, I know!

    I am always amazed at how strong kids can be when they have to be.

  21. melaniesmusingsnet permalink
    March 19, 2012 1:13 pm

    This sounds like a fascinating read! It makes me curious as to where the author is now and how his book got around to being published, especially if he’ still in Africa.

  22. March 19, 2012 2:43 pm

    Sounds intense! The cover is very striking!

  23. stacijoreads permalink
    March 19, 2012 9:43 pm

    I absolutely loved this one too! I absolutely agree that teens would love it. It would be great to read and explore the topics and geography in a classroom setting! I often hoped that it would impact at least one kid who thinks they’ve got it so bad and that school stinks…imagine being Enaiat!!!!

  24. March 20, 2012 6:52 am

    I think I will tell y teacher friends about this one.

  25. Literary Feline permalink
    March 20, 2012 2:31 pm

    I really like the sound of this book. It sounds so familiar. I know I have a book on my shelf with crocodile in the title, but I am not sure if it’s this one or another one . . .

  26. March 21, 2012 9:20 pm

    I thought this one was wonderful as well! Enaiat was definitely one brave chap – the things he went through to get his freedom!

  27. March 22, 2012 9:18 pm

    Looks like the perfect book club book!

  28. March 23, 2012 8:28 am

    I have this ARC. Thanks for the encouragement!

  29. March 23, 2012 4:06 pm

    This sounds great – wish my book club would read this too! Unfortunately bossy me only gets one pick a year – have to let the other eleven ladies have a turn.

  30. escapingjourney permalink
    April 3, 2012 3:19 pm

    It sounds wonderful, I’ll def. add it to my wish list.

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