Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein (Based on a True Story) by Jennifer Roy

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein (Based on a True Story) by Jennifer Roy

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein (Based on a True Story) by Jennifer RoyPlaying Arari With Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy
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At the start of 1991, eleven-year-old Ali Fadhil was consumed by his love for soccer, video games, and American television shows. Then, on January 17, Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein went to war with thirty-four nations lead by the United States.   Over the next forty-three days, Ali and his family survived bombings, food shortages, and constant fear. Ali and his brothers played soccer on the abandoned streets of their Basra neighborhood, wondering when or if their medic father would return from the war front. Cinematic, accessible, and timely, this is the story of one ordinary kid’s view of life during war.

“Soon, America — the land that I love — is going to try to kill me. I’ll try not to take it personally.” — Jennifer Roy

There are so many amazing historical fiction books for young people today. What I think is a little crazy is that this may be historical fiction to the youth of today, but to many of us, their teachers, and their parents we remember the time described in many of these books pretty accurately; “Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein” is one of those books.

The children of today do not know a time when Saddam was in power but we do. I remember Desert Storm like it was yesterday, 1991 was a long time ago, but I remember it vividly. That is what makes this book so fascinating, reading it with your child would be intriguing because of all the insight you could give.  A gripping story of fear, of a war torn country and of a family that did everything they could to survive. This book will bring up many questions, provide understanding of a culture, and teach tolerance of those different from us. Read this one with your kids.


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