I read Diamonds in the Shadow about three years ago. When I gave the following booktalk, my students were definitely intrigued. I hope you will be, too.
Jared Finch’s parents just agreed to let four African refugees live with them (without any discussion with Jared, of course). Little do they know that there are not four, but five, refugees headed for America. The Amabo family meets the Finch family at the airport, but the fifth refugee, a man the Amabos are desperate to avoid, is sent somewhere else—somewhere he does not wish to be.
The Amabo family is not what the Finch’s were expecting. The father, Andre, has no hands. (They were severed in civil war in his country.) The mother, Celestine, has an almost regal bearing, but she pays no attention to her two children. Mattu, the teenage son, is carrying two boxes that supposedly contain the ashes of his dead grandparents. Alake, the teenage daughter, does not speak at all, and she does not move unless forced. Is the Amabo family hiding something? Is Mattu really carrying ashes? What is their connection to the mysterious fifth refugee? Is the Finch family safe? Read Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney to learn the truth about how five people came to America and the past that followed them.