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From Somalia with Love
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From Somalia with Love

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  178 ratings  ·  29 reviews
My name is Safia Dirie. My family has always been my mum, Hoyo, and my two older brothers, Ahmed and Abdullahi. I don't really remember Somalia - I'm an East London girl, through and through. But now Abo, my father, is coming from Somalia to live with us, after 12 long years. How am I going to cope? Safia knows that there will be changes ahead but nothing has prepared her ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Frances Lincoln Children's Bks (first published December 28th 2008)
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If I Should Speak by Umm ZakiyyahBoy vs. Girl by Na'ima B. RobertPainted Hands by Jennifer ZobairThe Reluctant Mullah by Sagheer AfzalThe Sealed Nectar | Biography of Prophet Muhammad by Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri
Islamic Fiction
6th out of 115 books — 49 voters
Links by Nuruddin FarahBlack Mamba Boy by Nadifa MohamedClan Cleansing in Somalia by Lidwien KapteijnsFrom Somalia with Love by Na'ima B. RobertCrossbones by Nuruddin Farah
Books Set in Somalia or Written by Somalis
4th out of 39 books — 25 voters

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Community Reviews

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I think everyone can relate to Safia in this story. She deals with friend and family struggles, she starts to somewhat question her Muslim practices, and she lives the life of a normal teen.

After reading this, I have a new respect for Islam religion and Somali culture. They almost seemed to intertwine and it was hard to differentiate, but reading about Safia's life and hardships helped to relate to her and other Muslims. Their prayer rituals really intrigued me, and I like hearing about her vie
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
Awhile back, I read a few reviews of From Somalia, With Love and thought 'that sounds like a book I'd like to read' and promptly forgot about it. So I was absolutely thrilled earlier this year when Frances Lincoln offered to send me copies of both this and Na'ima B. Robert's latest book Boy vs Girl.

From Somalia, With Love is a really gentle and lovely story of a girl who's trying to find her place in the world. Safia left Somalia when she was very young and remembers little about it. Home is in
W.B. Abdullah
I'm kind of disappointed with this book, but I think, maybe I would have enjoyed it more when I was 16 and grappling with the same issues. It is, after all, a young adult book. That being said, it's refreshing as an Islamic alternative to the usual teenage chick-lit in secular stores. It's a good pick for mothers looking to teach their hormone-charged half-children half-women to have pride in their faith. It's a solid book for Muslim youth grappling with identity (and boy!) issues. Safia is a ve ...more
Safia Darie is a 14 years old Londener. She is also an immigrant and a Somali Muslim. For 12 years, she has been living in a council estate with her mom and two brothers. Then the family receives word that Safia's father is alive and is about to reunite with them in England.

This news sends Safia into a tailspin. She worries how her father will react to the Westernized society his children are living in, how he will react to her wild brother Ahmed, and more importantly, how he will react to her.
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Review: From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up–Safia has grown up believing her father died in the fighting in Somalia. When she finds out that he is alive and on his way to London to join the family, she is apprehensive about the difference his presence will make in her life. Though she is comfortable with her identity as a Muslim, she struggles with how her values differ from those of her rebellious brother and cousin. Her father is not prepared for his family's hybrid B
Aug 19, 2009 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 6th grade and up
Safia Dirie is a Somali girl who barely remembers Somalia. She's lived in London most of her life, with a strong family and religious community. But the return of her father, who has been separated from the family since their escape from Somalia 12 years ago, throws much of Safia's comfortable life into confusion. Her mother embraces the subservient role of wife, her brother rebels against her father's authority, and perhaps worst of all, her father seems to crave no relationship with Safia beyo ...more
Kyle Turck
From Somalia with Love is a very well-written coming of age story that centers around a teenage Somalian girl named Safia who lives with her mother and siblings in London, who's world is thrown upside-down when her assumed-to-be-dead father arrives after a 12-year absence. This book takes a very common "girl growing up and finding out who she really is" story, but since it is coming from the seldom seen perspective of a Somali Muslim refugee, it gives the book some very nice added depth.

I would
David Hilton
Insightful, this little book takes the reader inside the world of a Somalian teenager growing up in London. It has some depth in terms of cultural tidbits that I learned from, but mostly it is a puff piece aimed for a young audience. I think many teens will like it. I did. Easy and interesting.
A girl I know from homework volunteering liked this book, so I thought I'd check it out. Safia's conflict between Somali culture and modern London culture was worth exploring, but resolved in an easy and pat way. I felt like the author was limited to 150 pages and set everything up to resolve in the quickest way possible. Maybe a series of books about a girl like Safia would work better, but I'm not sure that publishers are clamoring for books about Somalia girls (although I know a few Somali gi ...more
This was an easy read which I went through in just 2 days. The story was really catchy as the main character was believable & likable, and it was interesting as I know little about the Somali culture & the Islam religion.
the premise is so great: safia escaped war torn somalia with her mother and two older brothers before she was old enough to have memories. her father was thought dead. safia is 14 when her family learns that abo is alive and coming to join them in east london.

unfortunately, the characters are one-dimensional stereotypes and the writing is dreadful. the characters are punished bitterly by life every time they disobey their parents or push the rules; muslims are taunted on the street for wearing h
Safia Dirie describes herself as “a Muslim, Somali, British girl”. She lives in Tower Hamlets with her Mum and two older brothers and has no memory of the home in Mogadishu she left behind when she was only two years old. Having heard nothing from Safia’s father in 12 years, the family assumed that he had perished in the civil war along with countless other innocent victims. Yet against the odds, word gets through that he is safe and well and coming to rejoin the family in Tower Hamlets. But Saf ...more
Sandra Y.
From Somalia with Love is a coming of age story that centers around a teenage Somalian girl named Safia who lives with her mother and two older brothers in London, who's world is thrown upside-down when her assumed-to-be-dead father arrives after a 12-year absence. I found this book extremely relatable as Safia battle between her upbringing and expectations as a Somali Muslim, and the world around her- who hasn't had this problem in one way or another throughout their lives. Additionally I enjoy ...more
Not the most well written book, but a pretty accurate depiction of Somali culture.
Mckenzie Quade
I do not know much about the Somalian culture so this book was of great interest to me. It made me want to look up and research more about their culture. I believe that we should teach children about racism and new cultures other than their own in the classroom at a young age so I would like to have many diverse books in my classroom in the future. This book gave great insight into the Somalian culture. It was also beneficial to have a glossary in the back of the book for terminology that some p ...more
Book#4 for Muslim Voices.
Erin Sterling
14-year-old Samia is a British Somalian Muslim teenager, trying to come to terms with her identity and how life will change when her father returns home, a father she has not seen in 10 years and was presumed dead for a long time. What I loved about the book was the honest perspective and the interweaving of Somalian Muslim phrases and the challenges and rewards of being Somalian and Muslim. However, at the same time, the writing at times felt a bit forced.
Starsha Vang
This is a book about a girl discovering herself. She is going through so many different things as a teenage muslim girl. In this book she is trying to find the way of life that works best for her. She wants to have the best life possible even with all of the challenges she faces. This is a good book for someone to read who is going through life choices or someone who would like to see a little more into the muslim life style.
Samra Said
I understand it is intended for teenagers but I was really hoping for much more - it is funny though and I do think it is reliable source of information for anyone that wants to know how it's like to live as a Somali Muslim teenage girl in inner city London - so teenagers will for sure relate to Safia Dirie
Madison Jones
This book had a great story, and was very interesting. I would not require it for students under the age of 7th grade, just because there are some things in there that could put ideas into children's minds. I would for sure have this in my classroom if I was teaching older grades, but not so much k-6.
This feels like a forced and abbreviated attempt at dealing with immigration of the Somali people
in England. I had to read it for a class for my Masters in Education. Not genuine at all and somewhat insincere.
Shawna Vanhoorik
Great book for tweens or early teen girls. Introduces diversity and family dynamics that many girls face regardless of ethnic background.
Genuinely couldn't put this down. Beautifully written with inspiring characters for today's youth! Full review coming soon on my blog.
Oct 05, 2009 Tashie added it
Just be yourself dnt follow others. Dont always keep everything inside express your self allow your self to be heard
This book almost made me cry. It was very relatable and would love to read more Somali fiction books.
words cannot explainn......absolutly amazing book .emotional and realtable,totally relaitab;e
Bara'ah Iversen
Thank you Na'ima for this great book!
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Na’ima B. Robert is a published author and magazine publisher. Her books include the popular ‘From my sisters’ lips’, and teen novels, ‘From Somalia, with love’, ‘Boy vs. Girl’, the award-winning 'Far from Home' (Winner of Published Children’s Books at the Muslim Writers Awards 2011) as well as several children's books. She is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Discover, the new magazine for curious M ...more
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