synopsis: a boy named aref prepares to move from his home in oman to ann arbor, michigan, where his parents will be studying for their doctorates
setting: muscat, present day
what i loved: a better question is: what did i not love? a book that includes michigan, u of m, and turtles? YES PLEASE.
there are random turtle facts sprinkled all throughout the book, which i loved. i texted pictures of them to my family, who are the few people in this world who are subjected to constant and unrelenting commentary on my love of turtles.
at one point, aref looks at a brochure of turtles in michigan and wonders if everybody loves turtles there. and besides the fact that i want to know if this is a real brochure, and if so, where i can get one, i wanted to tell him i can’t speak for everybody in this state but i love turtles. and also, i learned from one of his lists of turtle facts that painted turtles are the michigan state reptile, something i’m sure i knew when i was eight myself but had since forgotten.
i really loved this book not just for the turtle facts but for the story, and the best part is you can safely hand this off to anybody you know in upper elementary grades. it’s a good read for both children and adults.