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Book details
  • SubGenre:Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
  • Age Range (years):9 - 12
  • Language:English
  • Pages:250
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098310394

Caught Between Worlds

Tom, Mikhail and Alexander the Great

by Therese Tappouni

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Tom O'Hara's father, John, is injured and kidnapped by terrorists from Iran. An American businessman in Iraq, he and his son are tragically separated as Iraq gears up for war with Iran. Iraqi authorities have no time or resources to search for him. Tom's mom died of cancer a year ago, and now he fears the loss of his father. He and his best friend Mikhail decide to rescue John, combining the "Can Do" American way and the Insha'Allah (God willing) of the Middle East. Both boys are inspired by Alexander the Great. They search for John following Alexander's legendary route to Gaugamela. They are helped by many, including a Samoyed named Ursa, whose life they saved in the souk, Tom's mother's spirit, Mikhail's sister Mariam who has unusual powers, a Kurdish fighter named Bogasian, a Yezidi healer, and Daryoush, a young Iranian. Time-traveling Alexander, his right-hand man, Hephaestion, and Aristotle, known as The Teacher, are frequent companions as the boys trek north to Kurdistan. Caught between worlds at war, with time running out, they must rely on every ally to rescue John O'Hara.
This book is an adventure story that takes place in Iraq in 1980. After the death of his mother, Tom O'Hara has no choice but to leave his Tampa school and friends and go with his father on a posting to Iraq. There, Tom meets his friend Mikhail and accompanies him and his family to the north for Easter. As they travel, the possibility of war between Iran and Iraq grows so dangerous that John, Tom's father, comes north to get him so he can be evacuated back to the U.S. As he arrives, John is kidnapped by Iranian terrorists fleeing the country. Because the Iraqi's are too busy preparing for war to look for John, Tom and Mikhail combine the "can do" of Americans to the "God willing" of the Iraqi's to rescue Tom's father. Along the way, they are aided by Alexander the Great and his friend Hephaestion, among many others. both living and time-traveling. The boys find commonality in their love of history and admiration for Alexander and their determination to bring Mr. O'Hara home. Kurdish fighters, ancient Yezidi beliefs, mystical women and monks in caves add to the mosaic.
About the author
Biography of Therese Amrhein Tappouni http:www.theresetappouni.com Twitter: @thereseta Email: ttappouni@aol.com Therese has been a voracious reader since early childhood. Heaven, as she saw it, was discovering the Carnegie Library in walking distance of her Springfield, Illinois home. Her father's sisters and her mother were readers and tale-tellers. Her two grandfathers were instrumental in forming her core value that everyone can hold their own beliefs and still get along, a central theme of her writing. Therese's connection to the Arab culture came from her Iraqi husband, whom she met in college, and his family. True to her reading code, as soon as they met she read everything she could on Iraq. When she opened a conversation with him based on her reading, he often said: "Really? How do you know that?" He spent his youth dreaming of America. She dove into Iraqi culture and cooking as if she was born to it. Their six children had an interesting old world/new world upbringing. The three boys and three girls revealed to her any life experiences she may have missed on her own. The death of her son, Michael, inspired this book, and is the model for the character of Mikhail. Therese teaches workshops on grief and inclusion, and spent her mid-years working at schools and child-leaning organizations. She is the author, with her daughters Mary and Catherine, of a book for young children titled "Me and Green," a guide to small everyday things that can save the planet. Today, she is a Certified HeartMath® Trainer and Somatic Intuitive Training™ Certified Practitioner, with six books published and awards won in non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Her passionate belief is that all peoples can learn to be together through finding common interests. In recent years, she's found this to be more and more important. Therese is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators; The Society of American Poets; International Women's Writing Guild; International Coach Foundation; and Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).