Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Soraya is cursed with the poisonous touch—a curse she must come to embrace as well as the power it gives her, all while wrestling with the dark elements living within her. But her journey is treacherous, as she must learn to trust her enemies and uncover her relative goodness and evil, eventually coming to peace with the complexity of human nature. This story, inspired by Persian texts, epics, and fairy tales, may particularly interest readers who enjoy fairy tales and the fantasy genre. In a secondary classroom, teachers may choose to introduce it for literature circles or to prompt an exploration of the way the author uses legends and epics, in particular Persian epics, reimagining them to create this story.