This week for Teen Book Talk, we’re looking at a non-fiction work, Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers. Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own.

**Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Anooshka G., Teen Reviewer

Book zeitounTitle: Zeitoun

Author: Dave Eggers

Book Format: book

Year of Publication: 2009

Who will book appeal to?: Both fiction and non-fiction readers

Rating: 4

Zeitoun is a non-fiction novel written by Dave Eggers about a Syrian immigrant’s experience after Hurricane Katrina in a post 9/11 world. Zeitoun, the main character, is a construction company owner living in New Orleans. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children together. Zeitoun decides to remain in New Orleans for the hurricane while Kathy and the children flee to her sister’s house. Zeitoun owns various rental properties and a misconception leads him to be arrested. The government denies Zeitoun basic human rights and his family believes him to be dead. This book follows Zeitoun’s experience dealing with unjust laws and Kathy’s emotions as she struggles with these events.

As a reader who doesn’t particularly enjoy non-fiction, I was hesitant at first, but by using various literary devices and backstories, Eggers has made this book a story that reads like fiction. Not once did I think that I was reading a textbook. The book was split into parts so that we got both Zeitoun and Kathy’s points of view creating suspense and allowing for breaks from particular stretches—something I enjoyed. The main issue I had with the book was Zeitoun’s portrayal. He’s given a heroic status when in reality he is a much different man. The couple has been married for multiple years and Kathy claims that Zeitoun has been abusive since 1994. Eggers doesn’t give us any insight to this side of Zeitoun and as a reader I almost felt betrayed when I searched up his story and was introduced to the horrors he has inflicted upon his family. Overall, I found this to be a great book with the only downside being information that was never covered.

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