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Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind (Shabanu #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  4,775 ratings  ·  456 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)
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Community Reviews

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Jessica
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.
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...more
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.
Al_ryanleagre
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
Ryan
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...more
Courtney
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...more
Ch_jank-caporale
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
Diane
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...more
Shelley
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,...more
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...more
Dawn
Feb 14, 2012 Dawn added it
Dawn States
Multicultural

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...more
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...more
Jumana
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.
Ev
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
Natalie
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
Hayley
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...more
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
Josiah
"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...more
Chelsie Hamilton
Shabanu is a girl of the desert. She and her family raise camel. It is a simple life, but one that brings her happiness. Her sister is betrothed and will soon wed. Shabanu is to marry the brother of her sister's soon to be husband. Although she and her sister don't exactly see eye to eye, it will be nice to be able to have family in her new home when she comes of age. Life is simple. Until there is a confrontation and her sister's fiancé is killed. Her sister then marries the man, really a boy s...more
Rachel
It is a very exciting time for Shabanu and her sister- They are getting married. Their father has spent a fortune on sparkling necklaces and earings, jewelry fit for a queen. The fabric for their wedding clothes have all been picked out- beautiful silks in rich colors, embroidery made in swooping swirls of gold and silver, delicate veils and intricately crafted shoes, things so lovely it takes your breath away. Gifts have started pouring in, trinkets and baubles that they would never have been a...more
Daryl Leyesa
I find this a very insightful novel about the lives of rural women in Pakistan, especially the girl children and the limited choices/freedom they have.

But then it is not just the negative images but also the positive images that have caused my throat to lump and my eyes to mist. For one, the warmth and wisdom of women can be reflected in the stillness of camels continuing "to ruminate with their eyes shut, content as old women in front of a fire.” I believe the image of women with their eyes sh...more
Misha
I always like to read a book that gives insight into a new culture or way of life. This book was about a young girl, growing up in a dessert in Pakistan, who's family sold/bred camels for a living. The tale, weaved around this background, told a story of cultural customs for women/girls and expectations. At the age of 12, Shabanu was already engaged to be married to her cousin. Her sister would marry first, for she was older and would marry the brother of that same cousin. Because of certain eve...more
Cati
English 425 Submitter’s name _Cati Howard__
Book Bank Book Bank subject: __Shabanu___

Reference information:
Title Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind
Author Suzanne Fisher Staples
Publisher Dell Laurel-Leaf Year 1989
# of pages 240 Genre Multi-Cultural
Reading level Interest level 9-10 graders
Potential hot lava: When the camels are mating.

General response/reaction:
I thought that this was a great book to read. It was able to capture my attention and keep me captivated till the end. I probably would not hav...more
Lynnsey Sutphin
Apr 16, 2008 Lynnsey Sutphin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 11-15 year olds
Shelves: multicultural
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Vanessa
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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...
Haveli (Shabanu, #2) Shiva's Fire Under the Persimmon Tree The House of Djinn (Shabanu, #3) The Green Dog: A Mostly True Story

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“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.” 10 likes
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