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WestportREADS 2019: A Very Large Expanse of Sea

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

It's 2002, a year after 9/11. It's an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who's tired of being stereotyped. Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She's tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments--even the physical violence--she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she's built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother. But then she meets Ocean James. He's the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her--they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds--and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she's not sure she'll ever be able to let it down. More...

About the Author

Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of books for children and young adults. (You can learn how to pronounce her name here.) She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Southern California with her husband, fellow author Ransom Riggs. Her latest novel, A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA, came out on October 16th, 2018. More...

Companion Books

WestportREADS 2019 is funded by the estate of Jerry A. Tishman.