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Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story)

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2023-08-08
  • Publisher: Hachette Digital

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Supplemental Materials

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National Bestseller

NPR Best of the Year

New York Times Best of the Year

Amazon Best of the Year

Booklist Editors’ Choice

BookPage Best of the Year

Publishers Weekly Best of the Year

Wall Street Journal Best of the Year

Today.com Best of the Year

NECBA Windows & Mirrors Selection



“A modern masterpiece.”—New York Times


“Supple, sparkling and original.”—Wall Street Journal




“This book could change the world.”—BookPage


“Like nothing else you've read or ever will read.”—Linda Sue Park


“It hooks you right from the opening line.”–NPR



★ “A modern epic.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “A rare treasure of a book.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

★ “A story that soars.”—The Bulletin (starred)

★ “At once beautiful and painful.”—School Library Journal  (starred)

★ “Raises the literary bar in children’s lit.” —Booklist  (starred)

★ “Poignant and powerful.” —Foreword Reviews (starred)

★ “One of the most extraordinary books of the year.” —BookPage (starred)



A sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it?


“A patchwork story is the shame of the refugee,” Nayeri writes early in the novel. In an Oklahoman middle school, Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of a skeptical audience of classmates, telling the tales of his family’s history, stretching back years, decades, and centuries. At the core is Daniel’s story of how they became refugees—starting with his mother’s vocal embrace of Christianity in a country that made such a thing a capital offense, and continuing through their midnight flight from the secret police, bribing their way onto a plane-to-anywhere. Anywhere becomes the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy, and then finally asylum in the U.S.


Implementing a distinct literary style and challenging western narrative structures, Nayeri deftly weaves through stories of the long and beautiful history of his family in Iran, adding a richness of ancient tales and Persian folklore. Like Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights, Daniel spins a tale to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth.


A tale of heartbreak and resilience and urges readers to speak their truth and be heard.

- Daniel is a major force and one of the youngest publishers in the industry.
- He’s an #OwnVoices author, public speaker, and storyteller.
- A pulled-from-the headlines immigrant story.
- Thematically relevant as immigration stories take center stage in politics, news, and media in 2020.
- Daniel challenges how we tell stories by using traditional Persian folk tales
- A fantastic literary whirlwind  that questions western narrative structures.

Author Biography

Daniel Nayeri was born in Iran and spent a couple of years as a refugee before immigrating to Oklahoma at age eight with his family. His autobiographical novel, Everything Sad is Untrue (a true story) was the winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, the Christopher Medal, and the Middle Eastern Book Award. He is a former publisher, editor, and pastry chef. He lives with his wife and son in an Airstream in one of America's great National Parks.

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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