Darius the Great Is Not Okay, by Adib Khorram
Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian—half, his mom’s side—and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life.
Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab.
Adib Khorram’s brilliant debut is for anyone who’s ever felt not good enough—then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.
“First-time author Khorram’s coming-of-age novel brings to life the sight, sounds, smells, and tastes of [Iran] . . . as it shows how a boy who feels like an outcast at home finds himself and true friendship overseas.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Khorram's debut novel is filled with insight into the lives of teens, weaving together the reality of living with mental illness while also dealing with identity and immigration politics. This tear-jerker will leave readers wanting to follow the next chapter in Darius’s life.” —Kirkus, starred review
“Darius is a well-crafted, awkward but endearing character, and his cross-cultural story will inspire reflection about identity and belonging.” —School Library Journal, starred review