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Does My Head Look Big In This?

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,600 Ratings  ·  1,146 Reviews
When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth...

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full- time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if i
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Orchard Books (first published 2005)
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GrabAHotChoc Me! I find this book light, funny but interesting none the less. It really portrays everything i have ever wanted to voice being a young British…moreMe! I find this book light, funny but interesting none the less. It really portrays everything i have ever wanted to voice being a young British muslim girl and a great laugh!
I might be doing a reveiw on this book soon , so visit my blog:
Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-FattahNo god but God by Reza AslanThe Quran / القرآن الكريم by AnonymousEnjoy Your Life by محمد عبد الرحمن العريفيThe End of the World by Muhammad Al-Areefi
Best Books About Islam & Muslims
1st out of 375 books — 408 voters
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiDoes My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-FattahReading Lolita in Tehran by Azar NafisiTen Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-FattahI Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Best Books by Muslim Women
2nd out of 133 books — 212 voters

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Community Reviews

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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This was a random buy, picked up mostly because, flipping through it, the word Tasmania caught my eye - and then I read that the author is Australian. For purely nostalgic reasons I just had to read it.

Amal is a year 11 student in her third term at a posh private school in Melbourne. She's also Muslim. An only child, her parents are health-care professionals, she has a large extended family and friends from all backgrounds and religions. Before third term begins, she decides she's ready to wear
Brace yourselves because I'll probably be talking about this book for the next 20000 years.

Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge Notes:
- 36. An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion or sexual orientation
Ok. I see what the author was trying to do. She gets props for writing a novel with an Arab, Muslim main character that's not escaping an abusive husband or some other sort of oppression, as many books with Muslim women love to do. I appreciate that she added some much needed diversity to the YA market. Still, as a Palestinian-American Muslim hijabi, I was thoroughly disappointed.

I went into this book so excited that the MC was so similar to me and thinking that I could really relate to her. Tha
Amal decides, completely on her own and without pressure from her (also Muslim) parents, to wear a headscarf (hijab) "full-time." Why? She wants to make a statement of her faith, and it makes her feel close to God as well as brave, especially at her prep school where she is the only Muslim. She also points out what a relief it is not to have to worry about people judging her body and worrying about her hair (but she encounters frequent judging of the hijab itself, and frequently spends as much t ...more
Summer ✿
I have a massive amount of respect for Randa Abdel-Fattah for at least attempting to show that Muslims aren't these extremists that the media portrays us as, but instead just normal people. So props to her for her bravery.

BUT, being a Muslim myself, I feel like the author did not do a very good job of representing Islam, and on top of that, provided unrealistic scenarios that are very unlikely to happen.

Amal is very annoying. She is one of those stereotypical teen girls authors think they unders
Cait (Paper Fury)
I have an odd relationship with this book because on one hand I think it tells an incredibly important story (!!), but on the other hand...I can't honestly say I think the writing is good. GAWSH. That sounds horrible to admit. This could just be my personal preference!! But the dialogue felt weird and unnatural. And the story didn't seem to have much flow. It was just the happenings of Amal's life and I can't even say it had a conclusion. It just...stopped. I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THIS, OKAY?

Jul 24, 2015 Ahmed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

هى تستحق ثلاث نجمات ونصف فأعطيتها 3 نجمات , عمل مبدع فى طرحه للقضيه, القضيه الأزليه التى تعانى منها الجاليات (المسلمه) فى المجتمعات (الغربيه) وهى درجة الانسجام في تلك المجتمعات,

ولطالما كانت القضايا الشكليه صاحبة الصخب الأعلى : الحجاب أو النقاب بالنسبه للمرأة واللحيه أو الزى بالنسبه للرجل,
وبم أن المؤلفه أنثى فقد اختارت ما يخصها وهى قضية الحجاب وأعتقد أن العمل مبنى على مواقف حقيقيه تعرضت لها الكاتبه أو أنها كانت مبدعه فى عرضها لمشاكل غيرها.

المجتمع الأسترالى الذى تشعر ف ثنايا العمل بانه مجتمع جيد
Anna Staniszewski
Jan 07, 2008 Anna Staniszewski rated it really liked it
I was hoping this book would be laugh-out-loud funny - it wasn't. But it had a light-hearted tone and I felt like I got a lot out of it. It was so interesting to read about an Australian-Palestinian girl who was just a regular teenager, not a victim or a religious fanatic. Her faith was an important part of her life, but it wasn't her entire life. But more importantly, I think this kind of book reminds you that "Islamic militants" are a very small part of the Muslim population, just like "radica ...more
Dec 12, 2008 Khalid rated it liked it
Shelves: already-read
"Does My Head Look Big In This?" is the story of a Australian-Palestinian girl who decides to wear Hijab and the way her surroundings react to this decision.

I chose to read this book because the subject of Hijab is an interesting one to me; Hijab, in Saudi Arabia, extends beyond what's available in this story. Here, a woman is expected to cover her face completely, not just her hair. I am completely against that for more than one reason, the simplest of which are the fact that it's merely a cul
Ola H. Anan
Oct 13, 2012 Ola H. Anan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب رائع , دمه خفيف, مسلي, ما بتحس بالوقت وانت بتقرأ ومشوق لدرجة انو ممكن تخلص من قراءة الصفحات ال400 على قعدة وحدة:-)
الكتاب رواية على لسان بنت استرالية مسلمة من اصل فلسطيني, وبتقرر تلبس الحجاب وهي بالثانوية العامة.. الكتاب بتعرض لمواقف كتير اهمها: علاقة الغرب بالمسلمين, الارهاب , صعوبة المراهقة, صراع التقاليد الشرقية مع تعاليم الاسلام الحقيقية.. وحاجات تانية كتير لكن بأسلوب خفيف ومرح وجديد..
حبيت أمل , بطلة القصة, وحبيت رندة عبد الفتاح مؤلفة الرواية , من أول صفحة لآخر صفحة
Nawal Al-Qussyer
سمعت عن الكتاب كثيرا.. وما سمعته من المديح كان كثيرا جدا جدا. لذلك عندما شاهدت الكتاب على رف المكتبة التقطه بسرعه لشراءه .. وكأني لا أتوب من الحماس لكتاب تحدث عنه الكثيرين. لكن طبعا كما هو واضح من التقييم أن الكتاب ليس جيد كفاية بالنسبة لي..

بداية الكتاب يتحدث عن الفتاة أمل المسلمة -في سن المراهقة- من أسره فلسطينية تعيش في استراليا. والتي قررت أن ترتدي الحجاب بإلهام من رايتشيل قرين - نعم شخصية من مسلسل فرندز الشهير - حينما قررت ريتشل أن تظهر أمام الحضور غير مكترثة بما يقوله الناس عن ردائها في أح
Yousra Serry
Mar 31, 2015 Yousra Serry rated it really liked it
Let me start out by saying that this book is a book that NEEDED to be written, and one that, definitely, need to be read.
this is such a brilliant book. This book is about the life of a Muslim teen struggling to live her life according to her religion while she is surrounded by prejudice and ignorance. it's written in an easy, funny way so it doesn't get too depressing or boring.
What I liked most about the book was how it shows how awfully scared Amal is to wear the hijab because of how it chang
Oct 25, 2010 Rebecca rated it liked it
Recommends it for: high school girls
Shelves: age-high-school
I snatched this book right up off the new books shelf, because how often do you see a girl wearing a hijab on the cover? The cover flap told me that it was about 16-year-old Amal's decision, as an Australian-Palestinian-Muslim girl, to wear the head scarf full-time.

And that's really the basis for the story. This seemingly small decision is a big deal for her parents, who don't want her to jump into a big decision, her classmates at her snobby prep school, who take advantage of the stereotypes th
Apr 21, 2009 Tessa rated it did not like it
Young adult book about a high school student in Australia who decides to wear the hijab. I don't love this one. Written in the first person present tense, I feel like the narrator’s lecturing me. Other than that, the writing style is good. It’s humorous and sometimes that works. I think two things are unsettling for me: Nothing much changes. The main character decides to wear the hijab and sticks to that decision but doesn’t really examine it except superficially. So we don’t see any growth or c ...more
Oct 15, 2007 Mimo rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens
Shelves: ya, funny
Have you ever had one of those weeks/months/years where no book is able to hold your attention? And you need a good one to break the trend? For me, this was that book.

Amal is a 17 year-old Muslim Australian who goes to a snobby (read WASP) school in the suburbs. She's always been a practicing muslim, but before the start of this book she hasn't worn the scarf, or hijab, full time. Does My Head Look Big in This chronicles her journey from deciding to "go full time" (inspired by an episode of Fri
Jul 13, 2007 Noreen rated it did not like it
...oh dear. Political comment thinly - and poorly - disguised as teenage chicklit. Badly written, tedious and ranty; fancies itself as simultaneously intellectual and American-sitcom-ish. And, ironically, crammed full of stereotypes.
Aug 12, 2008 Ashley rated it did not like it
Wow. I got through 25 pages of this book before throwing it aside.

I had picked this up on a whim from the library because it seemed moderately interesting and different from what I've read in the past. Sadly, it failed to entertain me for more than ten minutes.

The narrarator's voice is so annoying, it makes me want to scream. Dropping a pop culture reference every 10 words does not acheive a teen perspective. I should know, as I'm pretty much the age of Amal. And it seems as if the author is ope
Nov 10, 2012 April rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, own, multicultural
I've always been interested in learning about religions which are different from mine. I was raised Baptist. I've learned a lot about Judaism through books. The only books I've read pertaining to Islam though, were A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseni. When I saw a young adult book featuring a Muslim girl on the cover, my interest was piqued.
Read the rest of my review here
Fatemeh Eftekhari
در تمام طول داستن حسرت خواندن کتاب این چنینی با این جذابیت در بستر فرهنگی خودمان را خوردم
با خوندن این کتاب میشه قدر خییلی از نعمت های ساده رو دونست....
Morgan F
Sixteen year old Amal makes a momentous decision right before the start of a new term at her snotty private school: she will wear the hijab. The hijab, an outward expression of her Muslim faith, will put new pressures onto Amal in addition to the normal teenagers-stressers of school, boys, and the popular crowd. Amal struggles to juggle her religious beliefs with high school drama, and is determined to define herself on her own term's and not on the judgment of others.

I know. That was a sucky su
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for

Let me start out by saying that DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? is a book that needed to be written, and one that needs to be read. It definitely fills a gap in young adult literature: it's a story about a normal Muslim girl in a non-Muslim country (Australia) who is not escaping oppression by a fundamentalist government/family or anything like that. Amal is just a normal teenage girl, albeit a Muslim one. She has crushes on boys, she likes to go sho
Sep 04, 2007 Lucy rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
Amal is Palestinian-Australian Muslim girl in eleventh grade at her snooty Melbourne prep school, when she decides that she is ready to wear the hijab, the headscarf, full time. She knows that it’s not going to be easy—she sticks out enough at her school just for being Muslim, and adding the hijab is going to make her a target for people to stare and ask her if she’s a terrorist. But she is sure that it is the right thing for her to do. Amal is smart and sassy and opinionated, and the book explo ...more
Dec 21, 2014 لیلی rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to لیلی by: Najme Ghanbari
راستشو بگم، يه تلاش بسيار محوي داشتم در اين زمينه كه ازش خوشم نياد:-"
ولي خب موفقيت آميز نبود:-"
اول اينو بگم، كه يه حس عذاب وجدان طور دارم بهش...اينكه حس ميكنم تمركز نويسنده روي يك موضوع بوده، ولي تمركز من به عنوان خواننده روي يه موضوع ديگه بود درباره ش، و اينكه انگار دغدغه ي اصلي نويسنده كه به نظرم حجاب و اسلام بود، چندان برام مطرح نبود!يني در درجه دوم اهميت قرار داشت...
از كتابايي كه باعث ميشن فكر كنم خوشم مياد! خيلي! و اين، حتي اگه به قيافه ش، با اون جلد صورتي خال خالي نخوره، ولي جدا چيز خوبيه
مصطفي سليمان
رواية مسلية
مشكلتها الاساسية ف اختياريها من الدار لترجمتها بالعربية
ف الرواية عن فتاة عربية مسلمة استرالية
تقرر ان ترتدي الحجاب
وتحكي يومها ك مراهقة استرالية محجبة
يمكن الجزئية بتاعت المجتمع الاسترالي بيتعامل معاها ازاي
دي الجزء اللي ممكن تبقي مهتم بيه
لكن الفكرة
ان اغلب المعلومات والتوضيحات عن الاسلام
بالنسبة لينا هتبقي يعني ف العادي بشدة
ف اعتقد يعني الاهتمام باختيار افكار تلائمنا
وتبقي مفيدة ف التواصل

القصة بكل بساطة أمل البنت المراهقة اللي بتقرر فجاءة تلبس الحجاب
بشكل دائم ومستمر
مضايقات عدم فهم من ال
Feb 25, 2016 Jana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good and interesting insight into the life of a girl who decides to start wearing a hijab. It makes it clear that she's just another teenage girl like everybody else but has to deal with a lot of prejudice just because she wears a headscarf.
Aug 11, 2015 Fahime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
امل، یک دختر 16 ساله ی مسلمان استرالیایی، تصمیم می گیرد یک محجبه ی تمام وقت شود. برای من که در یک کشور اسلامی به دنیا آمدم و بزرگ شدم، حس و حال امل باید عجیب باشد. اما نبود.
امل تنها محجبه ی جمع است؛ من خیلی وقت ها تنها چادری جمع بوده ام. به امل به خاطر حجابش متلک انداخته اند؛ به من به خاطر چادر. امل، از نظر اطرافیانش، نماینده ی تمام مسلمانان و عرب های دنیاست، هر مسلمانی هر کجای دنیا، هر اشتباهی کرده باشد، امل باید جواب پس بدهد؛ من در تاکسی و اتوبوس، سوپر مارکت و حتی سر کلاس، تبدیل می شوم به نمای
Marybeth Taylor
Feb 20, 2010 Marybeth Taylor rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
Recommended to Marybeth by: Clarence :P
Hilariously funny, filled with regular day-to-day teenage life, has cute characters, Randa Abdel-Fattah writes with feeling and humor; what more is there to say? This book is really cute. One of the other things I liked about it was that it tells you a lot about Muslin life. (Yes, this book is about a Muslim girl growing up in Australia.) It was interesting to learn about their culture, not to mention that Amal, (The main character) has friends from all different religions and backgrounds. So yo ...more
Nov 18, 2007 Ama rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, 2007
This is another quick read. I finished it within 2 days of starting.

It is 2002, and Amal is the only Muslim at her private prep school in Australia. She is a fairly new student, as her previous school – a private Islamic school – only went to 10th grade. While watching a Friends episode during a break from school, she has an epiphany. She decides to wear a hijab (headscarf). It isn’t the first time she has worn it, but unlike before, this is her decision, not part of her school uniform. She face
Heidi (Yup. Still here.)
While this was a decent read I really feel it missed a great opportunity to really share and celebrate cultural differences. The story revolves around a young Australian Islamic woman who decides to wear the hijab as a symbol of her faith in Islam. From where I am coming from the author never really explained why the hijab is worn adequately nor why the protagonist felt so compelled to wear it. As someone who is not Islamic (or all that religious) I do not feel I have a better understanding of t ...more
Aug 24, 2014 Zehra rated it did not like it
Okay so I'm a Muslim girl going into 11th grade ( I wear the head scarf full-time) and my friends told me this is a good book. So I read it and let me tell you what I thought of this book was completely different then my friends . If you want a good book I suggest "The ten things i hate about me" it felt more relate-able then this book, about a normal Muslim life.

Please note their is going to be a few SPOILERS (nothing to big).

When i first pick up this book I believed I was going to read a book
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Grace Mastrianni 4 56 Apr 03, 2014 06:22PM  
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Randa Abdel-Fattah was born in Sydney in 1979. She is a Muslim of Palestinian and Egyptian heritage. She grew up in Melbourne and attended a Catholic primary school and Islamic secondary college where she obtained an International Baccaularetate. She studied Arts/Law at Melbourne University during which time she was the Media Liaison Officer at the Islamic council of Victoria, a role which afforde ...more
More about Randa Abdel-Fattah...

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“Belief means nothing without actions” 145 likes
“Life isn’t like the movies. People don’t change overnight. people don’t go from arrogant and self-righteous to ashamed and remorseful. They don’t suddenly give in when they’ve spent years taking out. No doesn’t magically become a Yes.” 115 likes
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