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No Laughter Here

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  373 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
In Queens, New York, ten-year-old Akilah is determined to find out why her closest friend, Victoria, is silent and withdrawn after returning from a trip to her homeland, Nigeria.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published December 23rd 2003 by Amistad Press
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(showing 1-30 of 961)
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Aug 25, 2009 Bernadette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I loved the creativity of all the characters, but especially Akilah and her "girl warrior" attitude! She reminds me of one of my students. I also truly enjoyed how up-to-date the book was with surfing on the Internet, having an international student population, instant messaging, etc. It provided a realistic contrast to what many believe is not modern – female genital mutilation. Williams-Garcia approaches this topic with honesty, but in a delicate way. I also really liked Ms. Saunders, the teac ...more
Leah Sidell
Apr 22, 2014 Leah Sidell rated it it was amazing
No Laughter Here:

In this eye opening, realistic fiction novel; the author Coretta Scott King Honor winner Rita Williams-Garcia author uses her graphic, realistic voice very well and allows the reader to explore the culture and practices of Nigeria go through a heart-breaking journey of Victoria. On pg. 72 it says, " I still did not know what happened to me. I did not remember coming back from Grandmother's house. I called for my mother. She helped me to the bathroom. I could barely stand. She h
May 18, 2015 Pinkbow29gmail.Com rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading every line of "No Laughter Here" because Rita Williams-garcia did a good job in putting the reader in the mindset of a strong willed child. Reading the book through a child's viewpoint was a good touch because it made me feel like a child again and that was a good feeling. Not only could I relate to being a child again, it was like reading a story about a long lost twin of mine because Akilah is outgoing, intelligent , and stands for what she believes in. Also Akilah is big on ...more
Olivia Okoroafor
Sep 12, 2014 Olivia Okoroafor rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Women and Young adults (female)
Recommended to Olivia by: Saw it in the library
This book was very interesting to me because the characters are from Nigeria, Africa and so is my family and I. But I really like how the author makes you read more to find out the secret of why one of the characters does not laugh anymore and it makes you think and think. Then in the book you see struggles that the teenage girl characters are going through, that are relate-able to me and many other teenage girls. When I read a book, I always want the book to be very relate-able so that you can ...more
Akilah's best friend Victoria returns after a long family trip to Nigeria, her native land. But Victoria has changed. She hardly speaks, doesn't smile or laugh, and she sits apart from the other kids at recess. Akilah tries her best to draw Victoria out. Then Victoria finally tells Akilah how her mother and aunts took here to a doctor in Nigeria who cut out her "raisin" to "stop the feeling," a customary surgery performed on all proper Nigerian girls. Akilah promises to keep Victoria's secret bu ...more
Candance Wallace
May 12, 2015 Candance Wallace rated it it was amazing
I love the Book No Laughter here because the simply fact that Akilah doesn't brood about the changes in her body, she would rather be playing with her nigerian friend Victoria. Also, i like how the Author makes you read more to find out the secret of why one of the characters does not laugh anymore and it makes you think. Reading this book can relate to a lot things that you probably heard about Africa. It explained a lot of how girls are treated in Nigeria. I would recommend this book so you kn ...more
Jul 10, 2011 NebraskaIcebergs rated it really liked it
No Laughter Here is my second favorite young adult book by Rita Williams Garcia. My husband and I often watch independent films at a local theater. One film that we watched in recent years, "Moolaadé", opened our eyes to a taboo custom practiced in Africa, other countries, and even in the United States. While certain films like that one are important to see once, they often are not the type ones wishes to watch again. The subject matter is too difficult. From reviews of No Laughter Here, many pe ...more
Loveliest Evaris
This was a short book, so it was a quick read for me, but its message didn't fall very flat and the subject was still handled maturely and with care.

Akilah is a very sweet, bright, and high-spirited girl who is waiting impatiently -- as all children are apt to do-- for the return of her very dear friend and neighbor, Victoria, who has been on a trip to Nigeria in order to see her family. Victoria and her family are -- from what you can gather -- really tied to their 'African roots'...

But when Vi
Sep 30, 2008 Riley rated it really liked it
No Laughter Here

My book called No Laughter Here written by Rita Williams-Garcia is a wonderful non-fiction book. It tells about real life situations but with characters that it didn’t really happen too. I really enjoyed every part of this book. It was filled with exciting events and there are times the book makes you eager to read onto the nest chapter.
There are two main characters in my book a girl named Akila who is American and from America and one named Victoria who is African and from Ni
Shamerce Cunningham
May 08, 2015 Shamerce Cunningham rated it really liked it
This book was a very good book. It explained alot of how girls are treated in Nigeria. Women circumcision is real and this book really opened my eyes to that. Reading this book can relate to alot of things that you problay already heard about Africa. I think the author did a good job on the book and if your a girl I recommend that you read this so you know what happens to girl your age or younger. The end was kind of pointless but the rest of the book was really good.
TeenFiction Teton County Library
Teton County Library Call #: YA WILLIAMS-GARCIA
No rating

The gentle writing of this story is an appropriate counterpart to the very serious subject matter: female circumcision (AKA female genital mutilation, or FGM). At the heart of this story is the friendship between best friends, Akilah and Victoria. Akilah misses Victoria when she returns to her native Africa for the summer, including a secretive coming-of-age ceremony that Victoria was excited about and Akilah was jealous of such attention a
Amber Willis
May 19, 2015 Amber Willis rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I loved the strong personality that Akilah had and her "girl warrior" attitude about everything. Akilah was not afraid of speaking her mind and standing up for what she believed in and thats what I enjoyed the most about the book. Her personality alone kept the story interesting. I do wish the book had been longer and came to a more conclusive ending but overrall the book was great.
Feb 13, 2008 Kate rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 5th - 8th grade
Shelves: ya, jv
Akilah's friend Victoria has just returned from a summer in her native Nigeria. Akilah's excitement over her friend's return soon becomes overshadowed by concern for Victoria's new aloof and withdrawn demeanor. Victoria's admission of a ritual surgery spurs Akilah's struggles to understand Victoria's mutilation and keep her secret secret.

Williams-Garcia is adept at handling the sensitive topic of Female circumcision (or Female Genital Mutilation); conveying the psychological damage and cultura
Kiana Calvert
May 05, 2015 Kiana Calvert rated it really liked it
Even though the book didn't end the way I thought it would, it was a great book. it showed that Akilah was a true friend to Victoria and really cared for her. I thought it was cute that Akilah had a crush on Victoria's older brother. Even after Akilah's mother seen what she was looking up she didn't tell her why, no matter what the consequence was. After all the still remained friends.
Maesha M.
Mar 01, 2008 Maesha M. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who aren't immature
Recommended to Maesha by: no one
its so sad in the midst of the book.And the title of the book doesnt make it seem scary or sad at all. But once u read it.......
The book talks about violence against women (female genital mutilation). It's about a girl named akilah and her friend victoria. Victoria goes for a trip to her country Nigeria and with her family, plans to stay and visit family. But the trip takes a violent turn and twists to something that destroys Victoria's circle of life. It makes her so different from her usual se
Apr 16, 2014 Kelly rated it liked it
I found this while I was weeding, and sat and read the whole thing (a little skimming here and there) in less than an hour. The characters are a little younger than my students, but this is a book on a topic rarely seen, especially in middle-grade literature. Akilah's voice is strong and relatable. Definitely a keeper.
 Imani ♥ ☮
Female circumcision. Yeah, that's right. That's what this book is about. You know I just hate it when they act like there's such a mystery in a book on the back cover and then they give away the whole darn book on the inside under, "Summary". I mean, really? And that's really all the book is about. That and the fact that the protagonist can't get over that her friend is a victim of such a crime and the fact that she got her period. Hmm...right. I also kind of hate preteen books that can only rea ...more
Zhante Ivy-Jones
May 08, 2015 Zhante Ivy-Jones rated it it was amazing
I loved the book, it was very intense but it kept my attention and so many cliff hangers that i just couldnt stop reading. I wanted to know what actually happened to Victoria and it was pretty sad how even when Akilah attepted to make her laugh, victoria wouldnt even flinch. Definitely recommend this book!
N.A. Fedorak
Apr 11, 2015 N.A. Fedorak rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly written book, it goes into cultural and social messages from the perspective of a very young girl, and does so in a realistic manner, not 'sanitizing' her thoughts for adults, nor making her into a moralizing story for kids/teens.
Kim B.
Sep 03, 2010 Kim B. rated it really liked it
Shelves: 10-11-readings
No book has ever made me more angry for the same reason as this. I was outraged, OUTRAGED, I tell you, that something like what happened to Victoria was ever practiced, and that it's still practiced, and that ANYONE, ANYWHERE ever thought it was a good idea at all. I'm still angry just thinking about it. That being said, this book solidifies in my mind Rita Williams-Garcia's writing talent (and thankfully, it angered me in a much less "negative" way than her other book "Jumped" did). The writing ...more
Jul 20, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: yal-reading
A very well written story about an intense, adult topic. Akilah lives in Queens, NY, and cannot wait for her best friend Victoria to return from her summer trip to Nigeria with her family. Victoria was born in Nigeria, but spent her childhood in England and then later in New York. When Victoria returns home, she is quiet, withdrawn and absolutely refuses to laugh. Akilah is puzzled and determined to find out what happened to her friend.

Although Akilah, the main protagonist, is 10 years old, I do
Nyree James
Nov 04, 2011 Nyree James rated it it was amazing
no laughter here by rita williams garcia is an very good book. 2 weeks ago i finished a the book "no laughter here". It's about a little girl who is very coriuos,about why her friend is acting so weird ever since she came back from nigeria. Akilah the protagonist is so determined to find out whats wrong with her friend victoria.

Victoria has not spoken to akilah ever since she came back,Victoria's mom tells Akilah that Victoria is sick and she cant see her no more and that makes Akilah worried d
Ms. B
Sep 27, 2011 Ms. B rated it really liked it
Shelves: broads, ya, 2011
Wow, author deals with a difficult topic in a way that is accessible to young readers. Ten-year-old Akilah misses her best friend, Victoria who is away in Nigeria with her family for the summer. Then Victoria returns and she is no longer the same; something terrible (yet traditional in some African countries) happened to her while she was away. Will Akilah be able to reconnect with Victoria? Will Victoria ever share her secret?
This is beautiful story. Rita Williams-Garcia's writing reminds of Ja
Martha Schwalbe
Apr 10, 2012 Martha Schwalbe rated it really liked it
I deviated from my usual path of reading which is anything with a current publication date. I took my class to the library and was helping students near the "W" section so I grabbed about five books from that section to read during spring break.
This was the first book I read and it is a tough read, especially because Akilah knows what happened to Olivia isn't right and that it can never be undone.
I would recommend this book to any girl,though the girls in this story are in fifth grade. I think
Xiao Wen
Nov 14, 2012 Xiao Wen rated it liked it
Shelves: 11th-grade
I do not like this book quite that much, because the best friendship is broken in this book. Indeed, this book does stated that Akilah and Victoria were best friends, but what does best friends mean if that relationship is going to end. This book reminds me of my own story with my friends. Even though our friendship is not quite broken yet, but I do not think that we will still be the same as before. Nowadays, people always claim who is their best friend, but will that best friendship last forev ...more
Maya Ganesan
Feb 22, 2009 Maya Ganesan rated it liked it
I finished this quickly -- it was a short read. Was the writing likable? Yes. Was this a great read? Not really. Did I enjoy the book? No.

And that's what did it for me. I only gave this two stars because it was just so so gruesome and sad, and so harsh, too.

I did like some elements of the book though, like the normality of school, how close Akilah was to Victoria and her mother, but...

"No Laughter Here" disturbed me greatly. I'll look into upcoming works by Williams-Garcia only if I've got a pro
Feb 03, 2016 Sylver rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vcfa-3-1
Oh my goodness, Rita! What a powerful book!
May 20, 2011 Alicia rated it liked it
Very short but succinct about female genital mutilation. One young girl travels back to Nigeria and is mutilated. She then returns and her friend does not understand why Victoria isn't laughing and why she's "ill". After a few clues, she has to keep the secret she desperately wants to reveal to help Victoria.

The book is great at starting the conversation about FGM, but doesn't delve deep enough into the motivation and cause and effect to be stellar. But, choosing a very young female such as Vic
Feb 23, 2010 XOXOXOXO rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Henschel
Apr 06, 2015 Jennifer Henschel rated it really liked it
An amazing book that deals with the horrific topic of female genital mutilation. This is well written in an appropriate way for younger children.
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"I was born in Queens, N.Y, on April 13, 1957. My mother, Miss Essie, named me 'NoMo' immediately after my birth. Although I was her last child, I took my time making my appearance. I like to believe I was dreaming up a good story and wouldn’t budge until I was finished. Even now, my daughters call me 'Pokey Mom', because I slow poke around when they want to go-go-go.

"I learned to read early, and
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