Four Feet, Two Sandals

by Karen Lynn Williams

Other authorsDoug Chayka (Illustrator), Khadra Mohammed
Book, 2007



Call number

E 500 WIL



Grand Rapids, Mich. : Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2007.


Two young Afghani girls living in a refugee camp in Pakistan share a precious pair of sandals brought by relief workers. Includes author's note about refugees.

User reviews

LibraryThing member keatkin
Touching story of friendship between two young girls who share one pair of sandals in a refugee camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Inspired and based on the author's personal experience working with Afghan refugees.
LibraryThing member NMkimdykstra
Personal Response:

I thought this was a very good book for a few reasons. 1. It shows kids what happens when we donate things to those in other countries and why these donations are so special. 2. This book really makes you think about how much you really have. 3. The friendship between the two
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little girls is really precious.

I thought it was neat that the author said this book was written because a refugee child had asked the author why there were not books about other children like her.

School/Library uses:

I think going along with my personal response, this shows kids how desperate people in other countries are for some of the things we take for granted. Perhaps this book could spur a donation drive.
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LibraryThing member Aridy
This is a story of a friendship found between two Afghani girls who are living in a refugee camp in Pakistan. The friendship begins with the sharing of a pair of sandals, but continues on even as the friends are split apart. As one girl and her family are sent to live in America and the other is
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left behind, there is still a hope that someday they will meet again.
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LibraryThing member mildred981
This is a powerful story about two Afghanistan girls who meet in a refugee camp in Pakistani. Their families were living on the camping ground, while they wait for their family name to get on the list to go to America. While on the camp ground relief works would bring shoes and clothes to the
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refugee camp and let everyone scramble through them. Ten year old Lina finds one sandal that fits her foot perfect; and decides to wear just that one shoe; the next day she meets a girl named feronza with the matching shoe. Then from that day on they build a lasting friendship.

This story shows how you can find friends in the most unlikely places. Also, it teaches you about the hardship that different cultures go through.

This is a very educational book to read aloud in a class room, so kids can learn about other cultures and learn to appreciate the things they have. Also, this could inspire kids to get a pair of something and give it to their best friend to remember them by.
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LibraryThing member katie.harrel
Genre: Realistic Fiction

This is a good example of realistic fiction because there are more than 20 million refugees worldwide. Families live in these refugee camps waiting to find a place to move with little to no belongings.

Rubric: 30
LibraryThing member SarahWilmot
This is a good example of a realistic fiction book because it combines real events with imagined characters in order to create an engaging text. The author takes facts about refugee camps and adds characters and a plotline that reflects the life of many around the world.

Illustration: acrylics
LibraryThing member pjw1173
This is a very touching story about two Afghan refugees who share a pair of sandals (and friendship) while they live in a refugee camp. A great mentor text that shows how war affects more than just those who fight as well as a good book for showing how others around the world live their lives with
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less possessions/technology.
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LibraryThing member jbeliel10
Review: "Four Feet, Two Sandals" is the story of and interaction between two young Afghani girls living in a refugee camp in Pakistan. When a pair of sandals is dropped off by some relief workers, the girls are brought together and grow a bond that becomes very strong until the day that they are
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separated as one girl gets listed to go to America.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Genre Critique: This story is realistic fiction because it is based on a real life experience that the author has had with refugess in cities on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Many refugees around the world are going through the same experiences as the young characters in this story.

Character Critique: Lina and Feroza are the two main characters in this story and the story is shaped around their interactions and growth. They begin the story as enemies, but through the sharing of the two sandals, they are quickly bonded and brought together in a very touching way. The author does a good job of making them both dynamic as their emotions and feelings for each other shift and change.
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LibraryThing member khoecker10
This book tells the story of Lina and Feroza, two refugee girls who had to flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan. After both collecting one shoe of a set of flip-flops, the two girls share their stories and become friends. They decide to share the shoes until Lina's family is chosen to go to America.
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The girls can no longer be together, but they each carry a shoe with them to remember their friendship.
Genre: realistic fiction
Critique: This book is a good example of realistic fiction because it tells a realistic story of two girls at a refugee camp. The plot, setting, and characters exist in real life and could easily form a real story.
Media: oil paint
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LibraryThing member mchristman
This is a good example of realistic fiction because it is about an important issue in our world. Lina and Feroza live in a refugee camp in Pakistan and neither one of them has shoes. When they each find one of a pair of sandals, they decide to share them, even when Lina goes to America.

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Appropriateness: Primary/ Intermediate
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LibraryThing member vbarbe1
There are a couple of reasons that I liked this book. The first reason for liking this book is because of the illustrations within the book. I felt that the illustration were appropriate to the mood of the story. The big idea of the story is that a person will be willing to let go of something that
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they love for a true friend. Since the story was based on a friendship the other used bright colors such as oranges and yellows. By doing this he was able to enhance the story by the background. I also liked this story because this story pushers the reader to think about tough issues and broadens perspectives. The two girls who shared the sandals were living in a refugee camp in Pakistan and they both had lost close family members due to the war. So in reading this story and thinking how and why each girl ended up having one sandal forces you to think about the circumstances that put them in this situation.
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LibraryThing member NikkiDahlen
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Four Feet, Two Sandals. I liked the book because the authors integrated in a foreign language and there is great characterization. Throughout the book, the two main characters, Lina and Feroza, say to each other, “As-salaam alaykum.” The authors continue to say
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“Peace be with you” after each time so that the reader knows what the girls are saying. This gives the reader a feel for the girls’ culture and it teaches about the Arabic language. I also love the characterization of the two girls. Neither Feroza nor Lina were selfish at any point in the story. From start to finish, the girls shared the sandals and a meaningful friendship. The saying “Four feet, two sandals” was repeated to emphasize the bond they created. The theme I took from this book is that friendship is important and should be placed above all material things.
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LibraryThing member kbrehm1
I enjoyed this book for a few reasons. I really liked the plot of this story, as there was a sense of suspense when the young girl was looking for the other sandal. There was also suspense when the one little girl had to leave to go to America, and left the reader at first wondering what would
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happen to the other sandal. I also really liked the characters in this story because they were believable and well-developed. It was helpful that the story was in third person because it helped us understand how both girls were feeling when they had to split up. I thought it was really sweet when the girl that was going to America gave the other little girl both shoes, but then the girl who stayed ended up giving the other to the girl leaving so she could remember her when she was gone. I could relate to this when my friend moved to California and we both had friendship necklaces to remember each other, even when we were far away. The pictures throughout this story were great due to their defined shapes and bright colors. The big idea of this story is that although friends may live far apart, they can still stay friends and keep certain item that reminds them of each other.
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LibraryThing member KimKolb
I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. To start, I felt the illustrations truly enhanced my understanding of the situation and location the two young girls were living in. For each illustration, the illustrator would emphasize the yellow shoe, while still displaying the harsh circumstances
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in the background. Being that I had never seen a refugee camp in a desert before, the pictures of the brown wilted tents, dirty stream, and worn clothing helped my mind to picture the scenery. In addition, I felt the characters within the story were very believable and well-developed. Given the circumstances the two girls were in, it is understandable why they formed such a bond, and why the sharing of the yellow flip-flips was so important to them. It was an item they could share to provide comfort to one another’s feet. The main idea to this story is the power of friendship. Although the two girls were living in conditions unfathomable to most ten year olds, they were able to live each day in happiness, and rely on each other for hope.
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LibraryThing member sfinke5
The main idea of this story was about two young children who were refugees in Afghanistan. The girls each find a sandal but face the problem that they have four feet together but only two sandals. They work together and share the sandals while the wait to leave the country. I liked this book
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because it told about a different culture which many people do not know about. I enjoyed the illustrations which were nicely painted on the page. The writing was well-developed and engaged the reader to keep reading to see what would happen to Lina and Feroza.
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LibraryThing member jbarro3
I really enjoyed reading this book. The point of view about poverty in the Middle East and the horrible conditions was portrayed through the sharing of a sandal. The book shows that even if times are bad, there can be something to brighten your day. If you can find one thing beautiful and scared,
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hold onto the item. One thing or event in your life can cause happiness, even if there is something bad that follows. The girls loved the shoes and shared the sandals. When they were being separated because one was coming to America, they still wanted to share the sandal even though they would not be together anymore. This shows friendship and having a companion.

The language in the book was very simple and easy to understand. You could hear the hope in the voices of the girls when they spoke about eventually seeing each other in America and they could exchange the sandals again. You could also see hope in their expressions through the illustrations. The illustrations also showed the poor condition in the Middle East during the time of the war.

The concept of having poor living conditions and having to share shoes would really make a young reader think about the concepts and examine their lives compared to the girls in the book. The reader will also question if the girls ever would get to see each other in America and what the chances are the other friend would be sent over to America. Many students in classroom I have been in are not from the Middle East and would have no concept of this. Therefore, the reader begins to think about challenging concepts.
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LibraryThing member moaks1
I liked this book for three reasons. First, the style of the illustrations seemed to fit the written text because the illustrations were simple and the sentences were not very detailed. For example, the faces in the book are not very textured and the sentences are short and to the point, like
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“one morning they went to the stream and washed their sandals to keep them looking new”(pg. 20). Second, I like how realistic the setting and people look in the illustrations. Seeing the desert and mountains surrounding the refugee camp as well as the robes, headscarves, and burqas people are wearing makes the book very authentic. Thirdly, this book pushes readers to broaden perspectives. For example, there are millions of refugees all over the world that have left their countries because of fear of persecution. Not everyone is always safe in their country. The big idea of the story is that friendship is more powerful than physical objects.
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LibraryThing member WindyB
This book gives an honest (yet appropriate for students) glimpse into the life of a refugee. This would be a great beginning to a discussion about refugees and how the girls were able to find friendship and community in such a hard time.
LibraryThing member kabdo1
I loved this book! I thought it was a beautiful story about a friendship that blossomed over a simple connection. It gives students a glimpse of the struggles that kids their age face in other countries. It shows how our country helps other countries as well. The Americans would drop supplies to a
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Pakistan refugee camp and one day they dropped sandals off. Two girls find one part of the pair of sandals and agree to split the time they use them. This was a wonderful message to students on sharing and becoming friends in the most unlikely of circumstances. I thought the characters were portrayed in a very real sense. They were two girls who were just kind to one another and formed a friendship. The illustration was subtle but beautiful when conveying the expressions of the two girls. I thought the writing was unique and expressed the true feelings of the characters. I think it is a book that is eye opening to students about a world that exists other then their own.
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LibraryThing member karleesampson
This is a very touching story about two girls named Lina and Feroza. These two girls are at a refugee camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. A truck delivered clothing to the camp. Lina could only find one sandal. Little did she know, Feroza had the other sandal. These girls met each other near
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the river. They worked out a deal; they would trade off days for who gets to wear the sandals. Lina's family's names appeared among the list of names of people who are able to go to America. Feroza gave Lina both sandals to take to America to remember their friendship. Lina, in return, gave one sandal back and said "four feet, two sandals". This is a realistic fiction book that was based on a true story.
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LibraryThing member ecarlson2014
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary: Tells the story of two girls who form a friendship over sharing a pair of sandals while they are in a refugee camp in Pakistan.
Grade: Older Elementary
LibraryThing member Mchapp1
I enjoyed the story “Four Feet, Two Sandals” by Karen Lynn Williams because it is filled with descriptive language and displays a suspenseful writing style, Throughout the story Williams uses detailed descriptions to describe the struggles that the refugees face trying to meet their basic
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needs. William talks about how “Lina race barefoot to the camp entrance where relief workers threw used clothing off the back of a truck. Everyone pushed and fought for the best clothes. Lina squatted and reached, grabbing what she could” Williams also describes Lina’s feet as being “cracked and swollen” because she has not had a pair of shoes in two years. These quotes make the reader think about priorities, and how we often take many material things for granted while others struggle to survive. This story contains a very emotional and intense writing style as the reader is left feeling sorrow on behalf of both girls when Feroza is unable to travel to America. This book pushes readers to think about some major topics such as war, death, homelessness, and responsibility. Through the eyes of Lina we are able to see the negative impact that war has on everyone. War claims lives and makes the lives of the living much more difficult, especially for children who are forced to take on adult roles such as caring for other children who are not much younger then they are. This book touches on death and how they were forced to flee immediately without having adequate time to grieve the loss of their loved ones. From this story the reader learns to not only be appreciative of all that they have materialistically, but to be appreciative of life overall. The big idea of this story is that true friendship can be found in the harshest of situations, and cannot be broken even by miles and miles of separation
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LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
Timely work that can help children understand at a certain level the plight of refugees around the world. Good supplement for a social studies unit.
LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
When relief workers bring used clothing to the refugee camp, everyone scrambles to grab whatever they can. Ten-year-old Lina is thrilled when she finds a sandal that fits her foot perfectly, until she sees that another girl has the matching shoe. But soon Lina and Feroza meet and decide that it is
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better to share the sandals than for each to wear only one. As the girls go about their routines -- washing clothes in the river, waiting in long lines for water, and watching for their names to appear on the list to go to America -- the sandals remind them that friendship is what is most important.
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LibraryThing member Ebarclift13
This is a historical fiction story about a refugee girl named Lina with hopes of going to America. One day a truck came by the camp Lina was staying at and dropped off clothing. From this Lina was only able to gather one shoe. Later that day she saw a girl wearing the matching shoe on her foot.
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Over the next several weeks and months the girls become very good friends and share the pair of shoes, "four feet, two sandals." However, one day Lina made the list to go to America with her mother, but her friend did not. But, her friend insisted that they both take one of the shoes to keep as a memory of each other and so that they can re-unite and share their shoes once again in America someday.
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