Monday, September 24, 2018

Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram - ESSENTIAL

Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram, 314 pages. Dial Books (Penguin), 2018. $18. 

Language: PG-13 (4 swears); Mature Content: PG; Violence (G)



Darius is a junior in high school when his family decides to take a trip to Iran to visit his grandparents. Darius is half Persian, and while he loves traditional teas and the foods from Iran, he does not speak Farsi or understand many of the customs. Darius struggles with depression, insecurity, and a complicated relationship with his dad, but the trip to Iran offers surprising tools and breakthroughs for Darius, primarily in the form of a new friend. 

I loved this book from page one. Darius is so likable and his struggles so real and genuinely portrayed. The author did a great job of taking the complicated nature of depression and, without belittling it’s impact on a person, shows how it does not have to define a life. Khorram also draws the reader into a different culture in a way that invites curiosity and respect. I put the book down and immediately looked up Persian restaurants I could visit.

Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher

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