Sunday, April 17, 2016

DARE TO DISAPPOINT: Growing Up in Turkey by Ozge Samanci

Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey
In DARE TO DISAPPOINT, Ozge Samanci shares what it was like to grow up in Turkey.  Using detailed graphic illustrations, family conversations, and vivid memories, Ozge tells about her personal dreams and the expectations of both her parents and her country.

Ozge compares public school which she and her sister attended to prestigious private schools her parents couldn't afford.  She tells of her parents' teaching jobs that barely provided enough income to sustain the family and how they dreamed that Ozge and her sister would study to become engineers paid well by the government.

During her childhood in Turkey, Ozge witnessed controversy between secularist and fundamentalist beliefs.  Turmoil in the Turkish government caused financial stress for many families like Ozge's and also rifts between families who shared different beliefs. 

Ozge dreamed of a life that involved the sea and traveling with the famous Jacques Cousteau.  Early in her childhood, she remembers spending summer vacation at the beach, but later money spent on summer fun was spent on summer study classes so her sister could score well enough on tests to gain entrance to an excellent university.  When it came time for Ozge to attend these classes, she didn't do as well as her sister.  Much to her father's disappointment, her scores earned her a place in a mediocre college where she would only study math not engineering.

College was stressful for Ozge.  Studying as hard as she could, she still failed many courses.  She tells of the struggle between following her dream and disappointing her family. 

Teen readers will easily relate to her tale and find encouragement in the success she eventually achieves.  In DARE TO DISAPPOINT, readers are introduced to life growing up in a country with different customs and beliefs, but they may be surprised to see similarities when it comes to the wishes and dreams of teens much like themselves.

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