An international sensation, this startling and heartbreaking debut recounts the adventures of eleven-year-old Djata in one life-changing year. To be published in twenty countries around the world this spring. Djata doesnt know what to make of the two men who lead his father away one day, or understand why his mother bursts into tears when he brings her tulips on her anniversary. He does know that he must learn to fill his fathers shoes, even though among his friends he is still a boy: fighting neighborhood gang wars, volunteering to dig ditches, playing soccer on radioactive grass, having inappropriate crushes, sneaking into secret screening rooms, and shooting at stray cats with his gun-happy (and politically influential) grandfather. But this depiction of life in a totalitarian statethe only world Djata knowsis tempered by the sheer, hilarious absurdity of the situations he finds himself in, by his enduring faith in his fathers return, and by the moments of unexpected beauty and hope and the small acts of kindness that mark out any life. As in the works of Mark Haddon, David Mitchell, and Marjane Satrapi, Djatas childs-eye view lends a power and immediacy to his story, making us laugh and ache in recognition and reminding us all of our shared humanity.