On Two Feet and Wings

by | Read by Abbas Kazerooni

Published by Brilliance Publishing

Abbas Kazerooni is not yet ten, but he’s suddenly forced to leave his parents, his friends—his entire world—and flee Tehran. The Iran-Iraq war is at its bloodiest, and the Ayatollahs who rule Iran have reduced the recruitment age for the army. If Abbas doesn’t escape, it’s almost certain that he will be drafted and die fighting for a regime that has stripped his family of all they have. On his own in the strange, often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas grows up fast—with little more than his wits to guide him. He must conquer difficult things: how to live on his own, how to navigate a foreign city and culture when he doesn’t speak the language, and, most importantly, how to judge who is a friend and who is an enemy. Facing the unexpected as well as the everyday challenges of life on his own, Abbas walks a tightrope of survival—yearning to please the demanding father he has left behind, yet relishing his new found independence. His quick thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, and the kindness of strangers allow him to make the best of his dire situation in surprising ways. Does he have what it takes to not only survive against these challenging odds but achieve his parents’ ultimate dream for him: a visa to England, and the safety it represents? This compelling true story of one young boy’s courage provides a powerful child’s-eye view of war, political tumult, and survival.

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AudioFile Review

On Two Feet and Wings

This is not an autobiographical look at an entire life; rather, it spans just a few months as the author approached his 10th birthday, as he prepared to emigrate from Iran. Kazerooni does an admirable job narrating his own work, lending a variety of voices to the people who come in and out of his life at this pivotal time. A kindly hotel owner has a tired, accented voice—perfect for listeners to imagine a man hunched at his front desk night after night. Fear, lack of confidence, frustration, and a sense of achievement—all the emotions that come with being a kid on his own—come out in full force in this well-done audiobook. M.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine

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