No Laughter Here
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No Laughter Here

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  305 ratings  ·  68 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In Queens, New York, ten-year-old Akilah is determined to find out why her closest friend, Victoria, is silent and withdrawn after returning from a trip to her homeland, Nigeria.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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Bernadette
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
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...more
Olivia Okoroafor
Sep 12, 2014 Olivia Okoroafor rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
NebraskaIcebergs
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
Talyn
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...more
Riley
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...more
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...more
Kate
Feb 13, 2008 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 5th - 8th grade
Shelves: jv, ya
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...more
Maesha M.
Mar 01, 2008 Maesha M. rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Kelly
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
Kim B.
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
Laura
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...more
Nyree James
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...more
Ms. B
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...more
Martha
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...more
Xiao Wen
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
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...more
Alicia
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...more
XOXOXOXO
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 ♥●•x..MaŇìi BâBiiε→Anutha StoRiiε..
dis bukk wus so friqqin unbeLievabLe.its about thses two bestfrends named Victoria and Alikah.after Victoria returned frm Africa after summer vacation thinqs chanqe between dem.Victoria starts to act stranqe and distantLy seperates herseLf frm Alikah.Alikah forces Victoria to teLL her horribLe secret..which chanqes Victoria's and Alikah's Life.Alikah's muther qets Victoria heLp.This bukk is based on horrific thinqs that happens to yunq qurLs in Africa just to qet dem kLean before marriaqe which...more
Lindi
Very good introduction to the concept of female genital mutilation. 10-year-old Akilah has been waiting and waiting for her true friend Victoria to return from a summer with family in Nigeria, and is mystified at her behavior when she does finally come home. Slowly the truth about the special coming-of-age ceremony that Victoria was so excited about is revealed and Akilah is shocked and supportive of her friend. No easy answers here, just thoughtful discussion about what it measns to be a true f...more
Westcoast_girl
This book shines light on an important but seemingly (and unfortunately) taboo issue.

I had never heard of Female Genitalia Mutilation until I read this book.

I believe it is serious, sadly relevant, and to us, a horrifying issue. This book is a must-read as it raises awareness.

For those who worry about the mature content of the novel, don't worry. The book is carefully written for a younger audience, and I believe an acceptable and important read for anyone from the ages 11-adult.
♥ Honey♥
My review of this book was great!! I just can't believe some of these cultures do that, to young ladies. This story kinda related to me but, when we become young adults. I would recommend this book to every girl that has a problem or had a problem with their best friend before. I really understand this book very well. I'm glad that I choose this book for this week!! I would read this kind of books, but I rather read my vampire books instead!!! I hope you enjoy this book, as much as I did!!!
Brenna
This book was interesting due to it's topic, but as can happen with books that are based upon an issue, the story was lacking. Instead, the book was all about Victoria and what happened to her. Female circumcision is an important issue, and few books address this issue, but the issue encompassed the book and the story didn't really shine through. It's merit rests mainly in the fact that it addresses and raises awareness about an issue that is not often written about.
Jenny
Akilah's name means "intelligent" in Swahili. Her best friend is Victoria, who is named for the Queen and is from Nigeria. After a trip back to Nigeria for a coming of age ceremony, Victoria is listless, barely talks, and never laughs. Akilah keeps trying to figure out what is wrong until Victoria swears her to secrecy and tells her about FGM and what was done to her. Now Akilah must help her bear this burden, but does it have to be alone?
Alma  Ramos-McDermott
The sensitive, and mostly unknown, subject of female circumcision is addressed as 10 year old Akilah struggles to understand why her outgoing friend Victoria has become withdrawn after a recent trip to Nigeria. Over 2 million girls are mutilated each year, and Williams-Garcia uses tact and facts to explain why its done, as well as show its repercussions on the young girls forced to undergo this ritual in the U.S. and other countries.
Jennifer
Williams-Garcia definitely takes on a tough topic here; that of female genital mutilation in young girls. The characters are real and convincing, and she does a good job of being honest about what happens to girls, while still handling it delicately. However, this will be a hard sell for librarians. The main characters are in 5th grade but the difficult topic is more appropriate for high school.
Afsana Islam
This Book is about 2 friends who know eachother from very long. the Main characters Name is Akilah and her friend is leaving to nigeria to see her grandma. Akilah sees something different about her friend when shes back. What happened to her cheerful friend? What actually happend?
thorugh out the story akilah is very stubborn to find truth but after she found out she was very disapointed.
Priya
This book touched me personally. Of course, I never went through what Victoria went through or anything, but Akilah's words were so honest and plainitive that I really felt for her. I loved how she was so close to her mother, who would never hit her or do anything to hurt her. No Laughter Here was a sweet, short coming-of-age story that I would definitely recommend to everyone.
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123330
"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...more
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