Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: The Authentics
Publish June 5, 2018
Disgusted by the insincerity of Los Angeles high school life, fifteen year-old Daria Esfandyar and her friends vow to live genuinely and call themselves ‘The Authentics’. As an Iranian-American, Daria is proud of her heritage and community until a DNA test for a genealogy project reveals long-held family secrets. Unsure of who she is anymore and where she belongs, living authentically loses meaning. Searching for the truth leads Daria to discover many people have hidden aspects of their lives, including the friends she thought were living honestly.
Writer, producer and director Abdi Nazemian debuts as a teen author with The Authentics, an incisive look at one teen’s cultural identity. While Daria has her own issues with the customs of her parents’ close-knit Persian community – not feeling like she is a legitimate part of it is alarming. Daria finds herself suddenly on the outside of the culture she was raised in, and the insight provided by her struggle is heartfelt and emotional. Nazemian fleshes out Daria’s story with a view of the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath. The Authentics educates teen readers and develops back stories that inform the motives of parents.
Told in Daria’s own memorable voice, The Authentics lives up to its name, providing readers with a sincere tale about figuring out what it means to be real, who your family really is, and what truly makes us who we are.
An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.
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