In Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin grew up amidst a blend of cultures. His mother entertained him with vivid folktales and bold stories about her rural, nomadic upbringing. As he grew older, he spent his days following his father, a basketball player, through the capital city of Mogadishu. But when the threat of civil war reached Abdi’s doorstep, his family was forced to flee to safety. Nicknamed Abdi the American, he developed a proficiency for English that connected him — and his story — with news outlets and radio shows, and eventually gave him a shot at the annual U.S. visa lottery.
Age Range: 12-17 | Grade Level: 7-9 | Lexile Measure: 900L