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Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind (Shabanu #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  5,937 Ratings  ·  520 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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Namrata These lines have stayed with me since the day i read them.
1. only the worthy would be privileged to see how beautiful we are on the inside. For all…more
These lines have stayed with me since the day i read them.
1. only the worthy would be privileged to see how beautiful we are on the inside. For all the fake smiles and stupid liars, can be dealt with whatever face we chose to show them. that would be the literal meaning
2. On a philosophical level, our connection with God and the energy that flows through our souls because of it should be allowed to be harnessed to only those in dire need of help. the beauty of our soul should be powerful enough to protect our loved ones. it is something which will shine through us on its own and we need not flaunt it, unnecessarily.
this is my interpretation. :)(less)
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Feb 08, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult
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.
Jan 06, 2015 Jordan rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Velo
Since I started reading again, I always try to read as diverse as I can to expand my reading. And it is indeed very interesting to read about the life of an 11-year old Pakistani girl who's got a lot on her plate at a very young age.

Shabanu is the daughter of a camel farmer. Her family grows and takes care of camels as a means of living. She has an older sister (13 years old) who is to be married very soon. In a year, Shabanu is also to be married. As the story goes on, the original plans for Sh
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.
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
Jul 08, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it
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
Tara Chevrestt
Sep 09, 2010 Tara Chevrestt rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, india
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
Jody Hultman
Nov 21, 2008 Jody Hultman rated it liked it
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
Aug 30, 2016 Lana rated it really liked it
I'm very interested in different religions and cultures, which is mainly why I chose to read this book, seeing that it was about a Muslim girl. I'm not really sure what I was expecting from it, but it ended up a bit different than I thought, I suppose. It was a coming-of-age story that was a little bit slow-paced at times but overall enjoyable, and the glimpses of culture were very interesting.

I think my favorite part of this book was the ending. I was going to rate it lower than 4 stars, but th
May 18, 2010 Al_ryanleagre rated it liked it
Shelves: mc-literature
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
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
Jan 17, 2010 Diane rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2007 Shelley rated it liked it
Shelves: class
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,
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
Jan 29, 2016 Ace rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults, females, pakistanis, muslims, hindus
"Shabanu" is a book that at first, sounded absolutely terrible to me. In Secondary School, I was forced to read it in Adolescent Literature class, and after reading the description of said book, was absolutely mortified by what was to come. But as I started reading the book, I soon casted off all of my predispositions, and was pleasantly surprised by the journey I was taken on by my very own Pakistani tour guide, Shabanu herself.

Before I begin reviewing the book itself, I'd like to note that I p
Imas Ar-rifqy
Nov 09, 2015 Imas Ar-rifqy rated it liked it
Imas Istiani Response #10

The first though popped in my mind seeing the cover is: it must be soooo full of orientalism. But seeing the Newberry Honor stamp on it, I wish I was wrong for people say “don’t judge the book by its cover.”
Shabanu is an 11 year old girl, the second daughter of Dalil Abassi, or Dadi as Shabanu refers to. Her only sister is beautiful Phulan, in the age of thirteen who is betrothed to Hamir, her own cousin. Meanwhile, Shabanu is also promised to marry Murad, Hamid’s brothe
Aug 22, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015reviews, mg2015
Did I enjoy reading Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind? Not really. This Newbery Honor book doesn't fit my idea of what a Newbery or Newbery Honor book should be. I'm not sure that's fair on my part, and it could be a good thing to be a shockingly different children's book.

Shabanu is the young heroine of the novel. She's eleven or perhaps twelve. On the verge of "adulthood" in her culture, she's almost of marriageable age. Her wedding has already been arranged--a cousin--but it is about one year awa
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
Jan 14, 2015 Amanda Shook rated it really liked it
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
Mar 01, 2016 Christina rated it it was amazing
Finished this book for the #underhypedreadathon it had less than 6,000 goodreads ratings. 5 out of 5 stars and it brought me to tears a few times. I'll elaborate more as to why but be aware **SPOILERS**

The book is set in Pakistan with an Islamic family who have two daughters. Both daughters are already set to be married to their cousins, while that is strange from a Western perspective, both girls liked their cousins and they were good young men. Due to wedding expenses and dowries the father s
Mar 08, 2010 Jumana rated it it was amazing
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.
Despite this book being labeled as YA, it didn't necessarily feel like it. It contains mature content and sophisticated themes and, overall, is very well written so I think this would be enjoyed by adult readers in addition to its younger intended audience.

The narrative of the story is from a young eleven year old girl's perspective who matures over a period of one to two years. I wouldn't say this is a feel good read but there are many feel good moments in it and there is a lot of love between
Jun 05, 2015 Kim rated it liked it
I enjoy reading about women in other cultures. Shabanu is a young woman (11 years old) who lives with her family in the Cholistan Desert of Pakistan. She loves the desert and taking care of the camels and the freedom to be off by herself sometimes. A marriage has already been arranged for Shabanu, and she does not look forward to it because it means leaving the desert and her camels. Unfortunately, Shabanu does not have a choice in the matter.

Some reviewers have dinged the book for presenting a
Jo Bennie
Dec 01, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: s, f
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
Dec 06, 2014 Elzbeth rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 16, 2014 Ev rated it it was ok
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
Feb 25, 2014 Ju-Ju Bear rated it really liked it
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
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Shabanu (3 books)
  • Haveli (Shabanu, #2)
  • The House of Djinn (Shabanu, #3)

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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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