Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

January 21, 2011 § 7 Comments


Trent Reedy’s WORDS IN THE DUST is a beautiful debut following the life of a thirteen-year-old girl in Afghanistan. After the defeat of the Taliban, Zulaikha hopes for peace. She hopes to go to school and possibly have her cleft palate fixed.

This is a daring look at Afghan culture, what the people of Afghanistan lost during the war against the Taliban, and what they now hope for. It is a book that changed me. As an American, I hear “Taliban” and probably like most of you, I become angry.

As I read, I realized how ignorant my anger is. Yes, Americans have a right to be angry, but I didn’t have any idea how the Taliban ravaged Afghanistan and their culture.   

I urge you to read this book. It is a relevant and powerful study in culture, change, and the imperfection. It is marketed for 9-13 year olds, but is a book for children and adults alike.  I loved it.

Trent Reedy is a quiet force and I’m thankful he shared this poignant story. Reedy became fascinated with Afghanistan when he served in the U.S. Army in 2004-2005. Upon his return to the United States, he enrolled in the Writing for Children MFA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he wrote the first drafts of this book. Ten percent of the author’s proceeds up to $10,000 will be donated to Women for Afghan Women, which advocates for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

The book trailer contains actual footage of Reedy and other soldiers in Afghanistan.

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§ 7 Responses to Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

  • Penelope says:

    Thanks for bringing this book to light for me, Harley. I bet my nieces would really like it as well.

    PS Miss you! x

  • MeganRebekah says:

    I’m so glad you reviewed this book. I hadn’t heard about it, and it sounds amazing. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    (and I’m already looking forward to your next book review…)

  • Matt says:

    I served with Trent Reedy in Afghanistan and met the girl this story is based on. I’m so glad that Trent could put this story on paper. For so many veterans the ghosts that haunt us most are the children we have seen and left behind. This is a story many of us wanted to tell but just didn’t have the right words to do it. I think I can safely say that all the soldiers who served in Farah Afghanistan thank Trent for writing this wonderful story.

    There is now a book trailer posted on youtube with video footage from the town in Afghanistan where much of the story takes place. You can find it by searching Youtube for “Trent Reedy Words in the Dust” or by clicking here

  • Harley May says:

    Thank you for commenting, Matt. Your words reinforce what an articulate and relevant book this is. The video is incredible and I’ll edit the post to include the book trailer.

    Thank you, thank you.

  • Sounds like a poignant must-read book. This is the first I’ve heard of it. I’ll be sure to look it up.

  • abi says:

    this book is great

  • katie says:

    does this book have a pdf copy?
    i really need to read it! 🙂

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