This is a YA novel that involves time travel, a talking chevron trade bead and a young Sudanese girl. Izdihar finds a beautiful bead on the desert sands one night after a giant haboob dust storm. Desperate to leave the village before her parents marry her off to an old man, she asks the bead to take her back through its life.
What follows is a trip that will take my readers through time and places, following the bead’s life and all the things traded for it by a string of owners. Izdihar names the bead Bella, and an adventure begins that starts in Murano, Italy in the 1800s, more than two hundred years before. Together she and the rather cocky bead travel to Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria and back to Sudan.
Izdihar’s ticket home is based upon her asking the bead the right question. She learns many things along the way, including how much the present resembles the past, and the importance of not making instant judgements.
Many unexpected experiences await Izdihar as she travels back two centuries and then forward to 2020. Fear, joy, humility, and confidence all arise during her travels.
As Bella challenges Izdihar throughout their travels, they disagree frequently, admire events together, make snap decisions and their friendship grows. Eventually Izdihar is reunited with her family.
Can you guess what the correct question was to facilitate that final trip home?
The Odyssey Iz Trailer 1 (Summary version) 2:03s.
The Odyssey of Iz Trailer 3 (Short version) 1:07s.