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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Driving by Starlight

Driving by Starlight

Anat Deracine

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)


In this debut YA friendship story set in Saudi Arabia, two girls navigate typical teen issues—crushes, college, family expectations, future hopes, and dreams.

Sixteen-year-olds Leena and Mishie are best friends. They delight in small rebellions against the Saudi cultural police—secret Western clothing, forbidden music, flirtations. But Leena wants college, independence—she wants a different life. Though her story is specific to her world (a world where it's illegal for women to drive, where a ten-year-old boy is the natural choice as guardian of a fatherless woman), ultimately it's a story about friendship, family, and freedom that transcends cultural differences.




“Do you ever think about leaving?” I asked Mishail, careful to keep my tone casual.

“Lean back, or you’ll get shaving cream on the carpet,” Mishail said.

“Serves you right for having a carpet...

Praise for Driving by Starlight

Publishers Weekly Flying Start
CCBC Choice 2019

"Leena’s commanding voice conveys her desperation, courage, and intellect in a riveting, ultimately exhilarating page-turner." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The fast-paced narrative and unexpected twists make for an engaging yet educational novel with a powerful message about the complexities of being a woman in a man's world." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"nuanced (even raw) characterization and a twisting plot make this narrative stand out." —The Horn Book


Reviews from Goodreads

Anat Deracine

Anat Deracine is the pseudonym of a professional wanderer, whose passports include stamps from Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Turkey. She grew up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where she watched scud missiles fall from the sky during the Gulf War. She studied engineering and philosophy at Cornell University, and political science at Oxford University. Today, she lives in San Francisco but travels to discover new cultures and perspectives.

Anat is the author of Driving by Starlight.

Anat Deracine

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

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