It Aint so Awful Falafel HI RES final

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“Insightful, sobering, and hilarious.”

—People Magazine

“On her own journey to maturity, Cindy deftly guides young readers through Iran’s complicated realities in this fresh take on the immigrant experience—authentic, funny, and moving from beginning to end.”

Kirkus Review, Nominated for the Kirkus Prizekirkus_star

“Dumas’ semi-autobiographical novel is both funny and affecting, and surprisingly relevant to today’s political climate. Readers will be thoroughly invested in Cindy’s story, whether holding their breath or laughing out loud, and always hoping that the Yousefzadehs will come out on top.”

Booklist, starred review

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel is funny, affecting, and nuanced…The novel doesn’t sugarcoat the issues, but it balances these serious notes with preteen antics and melodramas that (Judy) Blume would be proud of; Cindy’s voice will undoubtedly draw in readers from all backgrounds.”

Horn Book

“…keeps readers engaged with the very real and relatable difficulties of finding friends after moving, dealing with family issues both domestic and abroad, and discovering one’s own identity in middle school.”

School Library Journal

Carolyn Johnson

“I watch (the news) every day. I want to be a journalist when I grow up,” she says. (p. 70)
Carolyn became an anchorwoman for two major networks and has won many awards, including an Emmy!

Howie and her tall husband

“Boys never ask me to dance. I’m too tall.” Howie sighs. “I just pray the Lord delivers me a tall husband one day.” (p. 192)
Howie with husband Greg, who measures six feet four inches. The Lord delivered!

Firoozeh and Carolyn

Carolyn and I. Tourist Day, 1979. (Photo taken by Howie.)

Flying Fish

“Look over there,” interrupts Carolyn. “Flying fish!” “What?” I blurt. Before she can answer, I see them with my own two eyes. Fish that jump out of water, fins spreading like wings, gliding in the air. Flying fish! Fish that actually fly!"
(p. 202)

Pickling Cucumbers

The king of all Iranian snacks.
(Photo by




“This book is a sheer delight—rambunctious and rich. Firoozeh Dumas writes with the perfect light touch that makes us wonder once again: Who is running the big world and why not this person, please?”
Naomi Shihab Nye, novelist and poet
“Firoozeh Dumas’s unique gift is her ability to use her wry, bold, but always gentle wit to tell serious stories about family, heritage, and loss. In this era of suspicion and paranoia, [this book] offers a tender and compassionate glimpse into the immigrant experience.”
Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of The Kite Runner