This amazing true story of a boy fleeing Tehran on his own during the Iran Iraq War provides a powerful child s eye view of political tumult, separation, survival, dreams and triumphs in a moving memoir that chronicles extraordinary times in an ordinary boy s life I was not aware that I was crying until I saw the tears hit my shoes Even with all the lights at the airport, the night outside looked dark and the air seemed thick I wiped my eyes and tried to figure out what I could do I was alone in a foreign land at the age of nine, and I did not speak the language I was, quite simply, terrified Close to his tenth birthday, Abbas has to leave his parents and friends to escape Tehran The Iran Iraq War is at its bloodiest The ayatollahs, the rulers of Iran, have reduced the age of recruitment into the army If Abbas doesn t leave soon, he will have to go to war In the strange and often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas has to grow up fast Living alone for twelve weeks in a rundown hotel, he has to learn to live by his wits, and watch his back Will he ever get his dream visa to England This page turning story about the courage of one small boy, based on true events, is as gripping as any novel This is all at once history, Iran, Tehran and the view from the boyhood bedroom, the ancient formula of happiness when all else is pastKazerooni s prose is elegant and his narrative tightly wovenIt is a story that is deeply moving, its piquancy enhanced by the sombre thought that all the episodes of survival against such odds are based on the truth Telegraph, Calcutta, India Agesto This was a captivating story, but the extent of the nine year old s recall is so likely that I found this undermined my enjoyment of the book. Thanks An incredible story,a page turner, and it s true. This was a fantastic book, I couldn t put it down Amazing book, highly recommend it Incredible to know it is a true story. This is the story of a young boy aged nine who is sent by his parents in Iran, to Istanbul to escape being conscripted to fight in the war with Iraq When his parents are unable to go with him, he is sent alone, with little money, but all the family had from selling their positions He must find a place to stay and a bit of food, while trying to find his way around the city, and dealing with the British to obtain a visa to England where his cousin has promised to take care of him He is amazingly enterprising and finds a variety of jobs to help make ends meet until he is able to go to England But, he only a boy, and very lonely, although a number of kind people do help him My heart broke for him, while my admiration of him constantly grew. This book had me hooked the moment I started reading it Finished it in one plane ride The story is so interesting and heartbreaking I shed tears reading about the family splitting up at the airport I was cheering on Abbas for every single thing he did by himself in Turkey I was grateful for the nice people he met who helped him along the way This book evoked so much emotion from me The story was also quite unique which I enjoyed I highly recommend this book and will probably read it again This is an amazing book I couldn t put it down True story very sad.