The students in Mrs. Holcomb’s YA Fiction class are currently reading Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram.
The protagonist, Darius, is struggling with his identity as an Iranian-American and does not quite know where he fits in with his family or the kids at school. He is also dealing with depression and anxiety, and that adds to his struggles with fitting in. When Darius goes to Iran to visit family he has never met, he learns a lot about himself, his heritage, and friendship. Darius is rarely alone, but he’s lonely.
As Mrs. Holcomb explained: “We read an article together on how loneliness is actually an epidemic here in the US, and so we engaged in service projects to help combat loneliness. Students drew chalk art with uplifting messages, made cards for hospitalized kids, wrote letters to send to the local senior centers, or wrote letters to loved ones far away. It’s all part of our effort to use literature to help us understand the complexities of our world and our place in it.”