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"Darius the Great Is Not Okay" by Adib Khorram

Darius the Great Is Not Okay cover

Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He's about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it's pretty overwhelming—especially when he's also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom's family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what's going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don't have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he's spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi 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. When it's time to go home to America, he'll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

Disability rep: #MentalHealth #Depression

Other representation: #LGBTQIA #Queer #Gay #Biracial #Iranian #Persian #Fat #Bahai (Baha’i)

Publication date: #August2018 #2018year

Awards won: William C. Morris YA Debut Award (2019), Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2020), Lambda Literary Award Nominee, LGBTQ Children's/Young Adult (2019), Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Nominee (2019), Lincoln Award Nominee (2021), Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, Young Adult Literature (2019), Middle East Book Award, Youth Literature (2019), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction & Poetry Nominee (2019)


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