This touching memoir begins when fifteen-year-old Nioucha Homayoonfar is lectured and detained by authorities because a small triangle of her neck is showing. The place is Tehran. The year, 1986.
The story shifts back to 1979 and the Iranian revolution, three years after Niocha and her family had moved from Pittsburgh to Iran. Baba—Father—wanted to be closer to his family. What comes next is a series of memories as Nioucha reminisces about life leading up to the scary ordeal detailed in chapter one.
Heartwarming at times but also brutal, you’ll be saddened at many of the struggles this family is put through. Eight pages of colored pictures fill the middle part of the book and attach yourself even more to Nioucha and her family You’ll get a deep understanding of life for those caught in a system of government that young Nioucha always questions. Use it to elicit discussion and comparison to the plight of many in today’s world.
Taking Cover(ages 12+) by Nioucha Homayoonfar, forward by New York Times best-selling author of Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh Dumas
In the mid 1970’s Nioucha Homayoonfar’s French mother and Iranian father made a decision that would change her life forever. At the age of five, Nioucha and her parents moved from Pittsburgh to her father’s homeland of Iran, at the time a modern, bustling country where people from different religions co-existed peacefully and women and men alike pursued the highest level of education and professional opportunities. A new school, new language, and new friends took some time to get used to. But none of that compared to the changes that Nioucha experienced during and after the Iranian revolution of 1979. Once the Ayatollah took control, full robes and head scarves were required, religion classes became mandatory and boys were no longer allowed to interact with girls. Her life continued to be filled with family, friends, pop music and even her first boyfriend (although both the music and the boyfriend were strictly prohibited), but Tehran had become barely recognizable as bombs were dropped on her neighborhood, loved ones and even Nioucha herself were kidnapped, acquaintances were executed and day by day, their freedom was chipped away. Publishing in time for the 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution, Taking Cover reveals the extraordinary story of Nioucha’s struggle to adjust, to understand and to figure out her place in the world while unrest and oppression swirled around her. Additionally, this title is a unique blend of coming-of-age storytelling and history. Coupled with a thought-provoking forward by New York Times best-selling author Firoozeh Dumas (Funny in Farsi) Taking Cover encourages readers to take a deeper look at the importance of protecting religious, political, and social freedoms while Nioucha’s vivid descriptions of Iranian life — the food, the smells, and its customs — exposes readers to a country and culture rarely written about.