Good Night, Commander

Good Night, Commander

Written by: Akbarpour, Ahmad
Illustrated by: Zahedi, Morteza
Translated by: Mixter, Helen
Translated by: Eskandani, Shadi
ages 7 and up / grades 3 and up

This extraordinary little book gives us a glimpse into the world of a young boy who has lost his mother and one of his legs in the Iran-Iraq war. We meet the boy in his room, where he recreates the conflict with an imaginary enemy and soldiers, trying to avenge his losses. The boy's father urges him to take off his artificial leg when he is at home, to join his uncles and aunties who have arrived for dinner. But when he does, he finds out that they are all about to go off to meet his new mother.

Back in his room he meets an enemy soldier who is also missing a limb. Identifying with this soldier, the boy offers him his artificial leg. And as he does, his mother smiles down on him from her picture on the wall, acknowledging his hurt and giving him comfort.

This extraordinary little book gives us a glimpse into the world of a young boy who has lost his mother and one of his legs in the Iran-Iraq war. We meet the boy in his room, where he recreates the conflict with an imaginary enemy and soldiers, trying to avenge his losses. The boy's father urges him to take off his artificial leg when he is at home, to join his uncles and aunties who have arrived for dinner. But when he does, he finds out that they are all about to go off to meet his new mother.

Back in his room he meets an enemy soldier who is also missing a limb. Identifying with this soldier, the boy offers him his artificial leg. And as he does, his mother smiles down on him from her picture on the wall, acknowledging his hurt and giving him comfort.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — May 1, 2010
Specifications 24 pages | 8.25 in x 8.25 in
Written By One of Iran's foremost writers, Ahmad Akbarpour lives in Shiraz, Iran.
Illustrated by Morteza Zahedi has illustrated more than twenty books and has won many awards. He lives in Tehran, Iran. Visit Morteza Zahedi's website: http://mortezahedi.blogspot.com/
Audience ages 7 and up / grades 3 and up
Reading Levels Lexile 510L

Commended, CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection), 2004

“A young boy who lost his leg - and his mother - in the Iran-Iraq war confronts an imaginary enemy and has an uplifting revelation.” —Today's Parent

“...an effective springboard for thought and discussion about war’s effects on the innocent.” —Booklist

“In its excellent English translation, it can now help western readers understand the suffering of children who live in war zones or have disabilities... "Good Night, Commander" makes peace from even the worst of situations.” —papertigers.org

“A powerful messge in just 24 pages.” —CM

“...unusual and disquieting...” —School Library Journal

““I stare at him and take aim, as I count one, two…but then I see that one of his legs is missing. He's kind of shaking but he is holding himself up on his crutch and his gun is still pointing right at me. 'Don't you have a leg, either?' I ask.”” —