The Tyrant's Daughter

The Tyrant's Daughter

Book - 2014 | First edition.
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Exiled to the United States after her father, a Middle Eastern dictator, is killed in a coup, fifteen-year-old Laila must cope with a completely new way of life, the truth of her father's regime, and her mother and brother's ways of adjusting.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780449809976
0449809978
Branch Call Number: Y Fic
Characteristics: 295 pages ; 22 cm

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 09, 2017

This book is unique, in the fact that it introduces a whole new way of living within the same world. Based in America, the book starts off by explaining who the characters used to be, and progresses to telling what they've lost, and how they still remain in the shadows of the past. As Laila explains perfectly, her life is divided between the Old Life, and the New Life. While Laila tries hard to fit in, the book describes the alien way that America seems, from cereal to high school dances. Even the ideas people have about Laila's life are seemingly upside down. The story made me question the ridiculousness of our society, and the detrimental way that Canada follows America's useless trends without question.
- @AelinBaggins of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

I approached this book with a fair amount of uncertainty. I was unsure if an American author would be able to write from the point of view of a Middle Eastern teenager without patronizing her. But in the end, I think Carleson did a pretty good job. I really enjoyed this read and the main character is truly nuanced. However knowledgeable this author may be about that culture from her experience in the CIA, though, I can't shake the feeling that this story might fit into a long history of cultural appropriation on the part of European descendants (a great topic for book club!).
~Alexa

s
stepha89
Jun 16, 2014

Middle Eastern dictatorships are a tricky subject when addressed to an American audience - especially if the subject is painted in shades of gray instead of black and white - but Carleson handles it effectively, using the daughter of a deceased fictional dictator as her narrator. Laila tackles guilt and shame as she learns about what her father did, as well as trying to reconcile these acts to the loving father she knew.

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stepha89
Jun 16, 2014

stepha89 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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stepha89
Jun 16, 2014

Violence: Several allusions to violent acts. Probably less graphic than what is in the news, but still enough to exercise caution.

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