A determined 13-year-old girl is blindsided when her parents tell her she is getting married soon. Desperate to avoid early marriage she ends up on an unexpected adventure through time and far-away places that will only end when she asks her guide, a chevron bead, the right question about life.

A story of determination, crossing cultural boundaries and pursuing a dream.

“Izdihar’s story of determination, crossing cultural boundaries and pursuing her dream inspired me to write this book and go from page to screen. Like all of my young adult novels and picture books, this one is based on numerous experiences taken directly from my journals. Madame N’Dour of Senegal was my neighbor in Mali. Her powers were evident to me from early on and although all we had in common was a shared wall we did eventually evolve into friends, sharing what was one of IZ’s discoveries, the importance of mutual respect. The Wodabbe and Fulani celebrations are events embedded in my memory bank.

Bella and IZ form a team that has them laughing, fighting, glaring, loving, and always talking. Their travels are made possible by being invisible so the bead, that IZ names Bella, can take her back to all her owners, trades, good times, and bad times. Their relationship is the way Bella teaches her about the shortcomings of being judgmental, the advantages of leading by example rather than demands, the beauty of the countries they visit, the joy of having an open mind, and the realization that war is not new.”

– Cristina Kessler

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