Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind (Shabanu, #1)” as Want to Read:
Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind (Shabanu, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind (Shabanu #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  5,212 ratings  ·  473 reviews
Life is both sweet and cruel to strong-willed young Shabanu, whose home is the windswept Cholistan Desert of Pakistan. The second daughter in a family with no sons, she' s been allowed freedoms forbidden to most Muslim girls. But when a tragic encounter with a wealthy and powerful landowner ruins the marriage plans of her older sister, Shabanu is called upon to sacrifice e ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 12th 2003 by Laurel Leaf Library (first published January 1st 1989)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shabanu, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shabanu

The Book Thief by Markus ZusakA Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayNumber the Stars by Lois LowryThe Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Teen Historical Fiction
86th out of 862 books — 2,228 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanAlanna by Tamora PierceGraceling by Kristin CashoreCatching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Best Feminist Young Adult Books
98th out of 883 books — 1,031 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
An amazing look at the life of a Pakistani girl who has grown up in the desert. When she reaches marriageable age, content with the knowledge that she will marry one of her cousins, family tragedy and upheaval leads to her being used as a bargaining chip to settle a feud. The author lived among the camel-herding people of Pakistan for several years, and bases her characters on real people she knows.
Shabanu: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Female Servitude.

Imagine that you are a woman, and you are living in a large house with several female roommates. You all have your own room, and you share the common areas amicably. All is well.

But then, suddenly, you have another roommate: The Male Gaze.

Male Gaze moves into your house. He doesn't have a room of his own, so he takes over the common areas, and slowly the rest of the house. M.G. eats all your food, drinks milk from the carton,
Becky Ginther

I will admit that I had a really hard time getting into it. The pace was extremely slow until about page 150, when the action started. I also wonder if American teenagers would really be able to relate in any way to this book. Though some might be able to make the connection of Shabanu's desire for freedom to their own lives, so many of the details seemed a little difficult to relate to. After all, we're talking about a culture where girls get married as soon as they get their first period and a
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
i had to read this book for school in sixth grade and it is so disturbing. i was scarred for life. it's a realistic but very depressing book, and i didn't really like the writing style or the characters. and it has one of those endings that leaves you feeling like life is pointless. i wouldn't recommend this one.
Jody Hultman
Nov 21, 2008 Jody Hultman rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Natalie and Staci
This is one of those books that I thought was SOOOOO GOOOOOD....when I was 12. I'm afraid to read it again, as my taste has probably changed since then. I like keeping in my childhood capsule of memory- untarnished and stil favored. You know what I'm talking about. I watched Flight of the Navigator the a few years back. I was SOOOOO GOOOOD, too. Uh, no. Lame, annoying and I'll never watch it again. I should have left well enough alone.

Though, if memory serves, I think it gives a fairly accurate
Shabanu is the story of a desert family and their struggles to endure life in an arid, dangerous world. Shabanu and her sister Phulan have reached the ripe age where they can now be married to men, but their marriages are pre-arranged. Most of the story focuses on Phulan's upcoming marriage, all the while suriving the challanges of the desert. They are a nomadic people, and are forced to travel whenever the rain stops providing for them. All is normal until tragedy strikes the family, and Shaban ...more
Shabanu and the sequels are important books for the world we live in because they describe a proud, independent people who are now in the midst of what will be a long, horrible war. The image of Pakistanis as either terrorists or helpless refuges are popular with news and entertainment (just watch Ironman...for all that I love movies with explosions I was horrified and saddened by that movie).

Shabanu is the youngest daughter of desert people - her description of her family. She loves the desert
12-year old Shabanu lives with her parents and sister in the Cholistan Desert of Pakistan, where her father raises camels. She and her older sister, Phulan, are eagerly anticipating their upcoming marriages. However, their futures are drastically altered when an incident with a "Wealthy and powerful landowner" causes the death of Phulans' fiancee.

I thought this was a really good book. Shabanus' character is very likeable, and I was really wishing there was some way to fix the situation. I though
Shabanu is the youngest of two daughters in a family that raises camels in the deserts of Pakistan. She and her older sister Phulan are both betrothed to distant cousins who own land far away from their parents. Unlike Phulan, Shabanu is independent and strong-willed; her parents worry that she will not become a proper wife and feel she must learn to obey and to hold her tongue. Accepting her duty to her family is essential if she is to have a place in it. But just as she accepts her role, somet ...more
A surprisingly affecting and well written book. I rarely read young adult fiction, but my daughter recommended this one, and I felt I was long overdue to read some more books about Arab or Islamic culture – especially women in the Arab/Islamic world.(My other books include Palace Walk and Reading Lolita in Tehran).

This is the story of a young nomadic girl from the Cholistan Desert on the Pakistan side of the India-Pakistan border. The picture of life in a nomadic society is well drawn – the imp
week 7

This took me awhile to get into. It was, at the start, very choppy and full of vignettes, rather than a cohesive story. Once they finally got to the story, it was difficult mainly because here was this bright and intelligent and promising 11 year old girl getting sold off to a 50 year old man who was in love with her, to be his fourth wife, so her older sister could marry the man Shabanu had originally been meant to marry. At that point, it wasn't even the ages, because that's the culture,
Tara Chevrestt
This is a very good YA book and a fascinating look at nomadic life in India. Shabanu is a pre teen. She prefers to take care of her family's camel herd rather than sit around, cover herself, and talk about weddings like her older and very much engaged sister. Most of the novel is about her sister's upcoming wedding and the gathering of a dowry. Things go terribly awry and the ending is a major change of plans.

Also, some great stuff about camels. I had no clue they had huge tongues that enlarged
Feb 14, 2012 Dawn added it
Dawn States

Shabanu is a young desert girl growing up in a culture where to disobey the rules of her family is a dangerous thing to do. She is a spirited and intelligent teenager struggling to keep these qualities and still do what is expected of her from her family. Shabanu loves her life in the desert with her camels, but this time is coming to an end when her older sister is to be married and next Shabanu will be married. Their marriages are already arranged, but when things go t
Sophie Jones
In the book Shabanu, by Suzanne Fisher Staples, Shabanu, the younger of two, lives with her father, mother, sister, grandfather, and cousins in a small town in Pakistan. In this small town, Shabanu and her family heard cattle. In this story, Shabanu addresses her relationship with her sister, Phulan. She is very jealous of her sister, because she is very beautiful, and she is to be married to a handsome, man, Hamir in the summer. Unlike her sister, Shabanu is too young to be married, but has be ...more
Amanda Shook
Shabanu is about A young girl living in the desert with her older sister Phulan, and parents. She and her sister are both betrothed, but strong spirited Shabanu wants nothing to do with being a house wife. When her sisters plans of marriage are destroyed a mere night before the wedding, Shabanu must sacrifice everything to save her family.

The characters in this story face many problems with hard solutions. Shabanu wants nothing more than to spend her life free in the dessert with her camels, but
When I read this book i cried my eyes out. This was a amazing book. It was sad becuase I thought it was wrong for what the father did to his own BLOOD daughter!!!!! And even though her sister loves her I thought what she did was wrong. Shabanu was a great character she was full of life and an amazing person. I recomend this book to people who are adventurous but not to people who have weak hearts.
Judress Sylvestre
Shabanu, daughter of the wind is a great book. At the beginning, the book was so boring then i rated 3 stars then it became interesting progressively. The reason why I rate it 5 stars after all, is just because Shabanu is beyond of simple story. And what really keep my attention is the difference aspect of happiness. Happy in the desert where Shabanu live is, rain,freedom...
Jo Bennie
Dec 01, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: f, s
Beautifully written and packed with the sights and smells of Cholistani nomadic desert life, this is the story of Shabanu, whose name means Princess. Aged 12 she and her older sister Phulan and herself are both betrothed and this book is on one level about Shabanu growing up, but also an amazing depiction of a society and landscape completely alien to a reader in wet, cold, November Scotland, a society where women have to learn to obey and the rule is of father, brother and husband and how a gir ...more
Burçe Ataman
This book is telling a girl's life named Shabanu, the place is Pakistan, they are a typical Pakistan family and their traditions are different than us. In their cultur some families live by taking care of animals such as camels and Shabanu's families is one of them. In their tradition women are marrying in an early age and the book is starting with Shabanu's sister, Phulan's, weeding preparations. I took this book from library, I had lots of hope because I am usually trusting the books who has w ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
For over half of the book it was just about camels. For some reason Shabanu's family decides to live in the middle of the desert. Who knows why. Anyways we had to read this for our reading class. Most of us hated it, we are teens and some of the details were very disturbing. I personally think Shabanu is a perv, she watches her older sister Phulan take baths. The book was boring until towards the end when the plans of Phulan's wedding gets ruined. It is interesting to learn about their culture. ...more
South Brunswick High School Library
In the Cholistan Desert of Pakistan, twelve-year-old Shabanu will soon be married to a husband of her family’s choosing, but this season the focus is on her sister’s wedding. The sisters, destined to marry cousins, are pleased with the matches since it will allow them to remain close throughout their lives. When the spirited Shabanu mistakenly insults a rich landowner to protect her sister’s honor, their matches begin to unravel. Will Shabanu accept the new choice her father makes for her? Can s ...more
Ju-Ju Bear
I liked the book as it was not just of a girl struggling but of her ambitions and dreams. Each person in their life has a dream woven in front of them and sometimes they have to choose between whether they want to save their family's honor or listen to their own heart. By reading this book, I hope no one stereotypes Pakistani girls to being this way. It does not happen in all places of Pakistan, only in village/desert regions. In fact, with the generations growing and more people getting educate ...more
Adrienne Michetti
This is a delayed and quick review, as I read this several years ago... I loved this book, as it gave me perspective into a culture I had no idea about at the time I read it. In particular, I appreciated that the author gave us the perspective of a young girl in a society that is often oppressive toward women. I do wonder how much truth is behind the fiction in this book, as at times I recall thinking that Shabanu's experience might be more pleasant than that of many girls in this culture. Howev ...more
I love how this novel shows coming-of-age in a very different light from the typical American ideal.
Weird Kid
Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring piece of crap.
Ranee Xiong
This is book opens my eyes to the world of women in Pakistan. As a girl in the desert and a camel breeder's daughter, Shabanu is happy with her simple life. Every day, she attends the camels, and sometimes she goes to the market with her father to sell the camels. Her family is excited that her older sister, Phulan, will get married to their cousin, Hamir. Next year when Shabuna gets older, she will marry to her male cousin, Hamir's the younger brother, Murad. Unfortunately, before Phulan's wedd ...more
I love to read, and I will read pretty much anything even though like most I have my favorites. However, because this is a well known fact about me I tend to receive a lot of book recommendations or gifts, and I have a severe issue of not being able to say no to anyone.

That said, I did find this book interesting for its depiction of the main characters' lives, the terror and the multicolored beauty that I envisioned when the Sibi fair & wedding clothes were described. I would recommend this
Jean Nguyen
I enjoyed this book as a cultural reference point. I struggled with the reality of a 12 and 14 year old forced to marry. The ramifiations of rape and social class were so strong in this book. I put the book down and walked away repeatedly because I felt sadness for these girls. I realize that it is a reality for parts of the world. I would recommend to mature junior high students who want to expieriance a radically different reality than in the US. I am looking forward to reading the rest of Sha ...more
"Phulan, your beauty is great. But beauty holds only part of a man, and that for just so long. Keep some of yourself hidden. You can lavish love and praise on him and work hard by his side...But the secret is keeping your innermost beauty, the secrets of your soul, locked in your heart so that he must always reach out to you for it."

—Sharma, Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind, P. 217

You can add Suzanne Fisher Staples to the list of authors I've discovered whose writing I absolutely love. Her style
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush
  • The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane
  • Like Jake and Me
  • Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens
  • Journey Outside
  • The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural
  • Sugaring Time
  • Graven Images
  • After the Rain
  • A Fine White Dust
  • Upon the Head of the Goat: A Childhood in Hungary 1939-1944
  • The Noonday Friends
  • Annie and the Old One
  • When Shlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories
  • The Moves Make the Man
  • What Jamie Saw
  • Dragon's Gate (Golden Mountain Chronicles, #3)
  • Somewhere in the Darkness
Suzanne Fisher Staples is the author of six books addressed to children and adolescents. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), she grew up in a small community around Northwestern Pennsylvania. She had three siblings, a sister and two brothers. Suzanne went to Lakeland High School in Scott Township, Pennsylvania. Later, she graduated from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She ...more
More about Suzanne Fisher Staples...

Other Books in the Series

Shabanu (3 books)
  • Haveli (Shabanu, #2)
  • The House of Djinn (Shabanu, #3)
Haveli (Shabanu, #2) Shiva's Fire Under the Persimmon Tree The House of Djinn (Shabanu, #3) The Green Dog: A Mostly True Story

Share This Book

“But beauty holds only part of a man, and that for just so long. Keep some of yourself hidden. You can lavish love and praise on him and work hard by his side...But the secret is keeping your innermost beauty, the secrets of your soul, locked in your heart so that he must always reach out to you for it.” 11 likes
More quotes…