Seventeen-year-old Samar -- a.k.a. Sam -- has never known much about her Indian heritage. Her mom has deliberately kept Sam away from her old-fashioned family. It's never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a really cute but demanding boyfriend.
But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Sam's house, and he turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage. Sam isn't sure what to do, until a girl at school calls her a coconut -- brown on the outside, white on the inside. That decides it: Why shouldn't Sam get to know her family? What is her mom so afraid of? Then some boys attack her uncle, shouting, "Go back home, Osama!" and Sam realizes she could be in danger -- and also discovers how dangerous ignorance can be. Sam will need all her smarts and savvy to try to bridge two worlds and make them both her own.
"An important book for young people about coming to terms with identity, prejudice, and family in a post-9/11 world. A touching portrait of a strong-willed daughter and her rebellious mother." -- Marina Budhos, author of Ask Me No Questions and Tell Us We're Home
"Everyone -- teens and adults alike -- should read this wise, warm story of family, friendship, tolerance, and finding out who you really are." -- Anjali Banerjee, author of Maya Running and Looking for Bapu
"Neesha Meminger writes with honesty, a big heart, and bold humor. I laughed, cried, learned, and related." -- Tanuja Desai Hidier, author of Born Confused
"I want to give this novel to every teen on the hunt for the unvarnished truth about her own story." -- Mitali Perkins, author of Secret Keeper