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Ask Me No Questions

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,904 ratings  ·  405 reviews
"You forget. You forget you don't really exist here, that this isn't your home."

Since emigrating from Bangladesh, fourteen-year-old Nadira and her family have been living in New York City on expired visas, hoping to realize their dream of becoming legal U.S. citizens. But after 9/11, everything changes. Suddenly being Muslim means you are dangerous -- a suspected terrori
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 11th 2007 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.36  · 
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Nazarene Static
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nadira is that fat daughter. She is also the slow daughter, the one who is slow to speak and quick to feel. She is constantly compared to her sister Aisha. Aisha is the perfect sister. She is the sister who is going places and the one who impressed everyone with her knowledge and her ability to adapt. After the arrest of her father and facing the possibility of deportation for being undocumented, the familial roles of these two siblings is flipped. It is up to Nadira to retain the amount of hope ...more
Kate Hastings
May 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 7-10
A Muslim girl from Bangladesh has her life turned upside-down after 9/11 when all Muslim men from certain middle-eastern countries are required to register with the US government and show valid IDs.

Her family has long out-stayed their travel visa, and have been living successful, if illegal, lives in the United States. Her father works in a restaurant and her older sister has been nominated to be her high school's valedictorian.

But now all of that success is in peril. Her
Yoo Kyung Sung
" I look at her, amazed. She's American-born. I can tell by her accent and the way she holds herself. I didn't even know you could do something like that. I sure didn't know a girl could do something like that. " But how do you kow you want to be a geologist?" I ask. She smiles, tilting her head to the side. p.106

This quote exactly shows how the U.S. immigrant and consequence of immigrant kids are divided. They are "the others" to each other.

Often multicultural literature
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Ask Me No Questions. It teaches the importance and significance of family, and fighting to do what is right, no matter how difficult it may be. It also teaches just how much a person can grow, and how they are much more than just their surface. Nadira, for example, describes herself as slow, fat, and lazy, but in actuality she is a courageous, loving daughter who fights for the things she loves and believes in. Nadira progressed and improved vastly as the story continued. At f ...more
May 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This book was terrible. I HATE saying that. Looking at my reviews, it's clear that I'm not typically an extremely critical reviewer. But this book is awful. And it's a shame, because the topic it dealt with seems so important.

There were a lot of inconsistencies within the book. The narrator is 14 year old Nadira, and it really felt like a 14 year old wrote this book. I had no idea what the time span of the book was: sometimes events that should have happened a few weeks ago were refe
This story is told in first person from the point of view of a young girl in the ninth grade, Nadira. her family came to the US from Bangladesh on a tourist visa and ended up staying illegally after the visa expired. The family did try to become legal and met with some problems and then just let it go and stayed in the US anyways. The novel tells the story of their attempt to seek asylum in Canada and what happens when they are sent back to the US and the father is detained as an illegal alien. ...more
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a great book and I loved it. Nadira and her family is trying to get used to their new life and I was thinking so much how hard it should've been to try to do their best every moment but one thing that they couldn't get away from was their own country, Bangladesh. Aisha is a brave girl in this book and she is an A+ girl but one thing that she is not good at was that she was afraid of her country, where she's from - she wants to be invisible not standing out in front of a lot of pe ...more
Amy Li
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because the blurb had a powerful meaning in my point of view. It shows how much the main character and her family was suffering to live. For being illegal citizens, the main character couldn't even tell her best friend about their problems and that they were illegal. In this book, I learned that no matter how bad your situation, don't like it get in your way of happiness. In this book, it says "A flicker of tension twitches between us: Five times on the way to school Aisha told ...more
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
Nadira’s family emigrated to the US from Bandgladesh a few years ago. Now, they are living in New York City on expired visas, hoping to realize their dream of becoming legal US citizens. But 9/11 changes everything. Suddenly, being Muslim, looking different, and speaking with an accent means that you are a suspected terrorist.

When Nadira’s father is arrested at the US/Canadian border, Nadira and her college-bound, motivated and smart sister Aisha are told to continue on as if nothing
Aug 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teens interested in diversity and stories about growing up
Shelves: teenbooks
This is an extraordinarily moving book about a young girl named Nadira whose family has emigrated from Bangladesh and are now living in the United States...illegally. The book explores the increase in suspicion towards Muslim minorities since 9/11 and the terror of trying to make it in America while disguising the fact that you are there illegally. Nadira's father is ultimately arrested when the family attempts to enter Canada and ask for asylum. He is detained even longer when the INS makes a s ...more
Miranda Kor
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it was quite interesting. At first I did not think that I would like it very much. I am glad that I gave it a chance. I feel bad that life had to change for immigrants after 9-11. They weren’t safe and everybody thought that any immigrant was out to get you or kill you. I have a lot of respect for Nadira in the story. She had to deal with so much stuff. She had to figure out how to help her mother and father. She also had to figure out how to keep her s ...more
(NS) Lisa
What is it like to be an illegal alien living in New York following the 9/11 tragedy? Nadira, 14, and her family leave Bangladesh to find a better life in the United States. They have entered the country on a tourist visa, and stay long after the visa has expired. Their illegal status is discovered, and they seek asylum in Canada. Her father is detained in Canada because his passport is no longer valid. Nadira and her sister return to New York and must go on with life as nothing has happened. Na ...more
Emily  Nuttall
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rll-528-asian
Ask Me No Questions is a story about a family of immigrants from Bangladesh whose lives significantly change after the events of 9/11, which leads to the father being detained as result of citizenship status. This story is told from the perspective of 14 year old Nadira who struggles with feeling overshadowed by her older sister Aisha, who is exalted by their father because of her academic potential. Some themes in this story are immigration laws, identity, cultural acceptance, family, persisten ...more
May 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think what arnaud said is false, I highly disagree. I think it had no structure plus Arnaud rates five stars for every book...What is the difference? Supported by Aris.
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good story that brings to light the American conduct towards Muslims after 9/11! Strong girl character!
Jul 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
YA or not, this is a lovely and poignant tale of a family of illegal immigrants living in post-9/11 new york, told from the perspective of a 14-year old girl.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Revealing story about what it's like for Muslims living in post-9/ll New York City.
Richie Partington
22 August 2006 ASK ME NO QUESTIONS by Marina Budhos, Atheneum, February 2006, ISBN: 1-4169-0351-2

"...And it's a story, ladies and gentlemen, that I didn't read in a book, or learn in a classroom. I saw it and lived it, like many of you. I watched a small man with thick calluses on both his hands work 15 and 16 hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know abo
Natalie M.
There were many good qualities about this book. But, there were also many parts of the book I disliked. I liked all of the important underlying themes and motifs in "Ask Me No Questions" and I thought that Nadira's story was very interesting. I didn't like how some characters were a bit unnecessary (in my opinion) and how sometimes the author, Marina Budhos, tried to be too deep. I think by trying to be too deep, the book lost some of its realistic touch and credibility. I didn't hate the book, ...more
Samantha Byers
I read Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos. The story is about an illegal immigrant family and the struggles of living in America after September 11th. The story is told from the perspective of Nadira; she is in ninth grade and the youngest of the Bangladesh family. Nadira feels as if she is the most ignored because she has no special qualities. Her sister, Aisha, is the smart family member whose focus is getting into an American college. Their family puts all their effort into making sure she ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ask Me No Questions, by Marina Budhos, is about a 14 year old girl named Nadira and her family emigrating from Bangladesh to the U.S., and living in New York City on expired visas. Nadira’s family hope to become legal U.S. citizens and better their life, just like the famous saying, “live the American dream!” However, after 9/11 occurs, everything changed. Being Muslim has a horribly negative view attached to their culture, and every Muslim is viewed as a terrorist; which affects Nadira’s family ...more
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book begins with Nadira and her family fleeing America, traveling to Canada because they are illegal immigrants. It is shortly after 9/11 and the government had instituted strict laws (i.e. the Patriot Act, registration of all people from certain Middle Eastern countries). Nadira and her family are from Bangladesh. They came to America on a tourist visa that has expired. They are going to Canada to apply for asylum (a form of protection granted to individuals who have been persecuted or fear ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos is a story about a family from Bangladesh that came to America to begin a new life out of poverty. Nadira and her family live in New York, but they have been living with expired visas while they wait out the long process of becoming legal U.S. citizens. The family runs into danger when the Attack of 9/11 hits the United States and suddenly Nadira’s family is not able to stay under the radar any longer. The family is separated when Nadira’s father, “Abba”, is ...more
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marvin Bautista
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos is an enjoyable novel. It is about an illegal immigrant family after 9/11. Nadira Hossain is one of the main characters. Her family emigrated from Bangladesh years ago. However her family was not able to receive a permanent visa and stayed in the united states illegally. After 9/11 being a Muslim became dangerous and official papers, passports, and visas were checked for illegal aliens. In fear of being found out the Hossains moved to the Canadian border for ...more
This book has moments of magic where one authentic experience of a Muslim family living in America reveals a lifestyle of hiding in fear, working hard to accomplish goals in which they may contribute to society, and clinging to elements of their culture while simultaneously assimilating into Americanized cultural behaviors and styles of dress. Where the story lost stars for me are the places where ideas or story lines seemed out of place or unfinished. For example, the scene where the uncle with ...more
Emily Leclerc
The novel, Ask Me No Question, is a fictional story of a Bangladesh family living illegally in the United States of America. The story takes place just weeks after the tragic event of September 11th, 2001. Many Bangladesh people are being persecuted because of their religion and nationality. This makes many want to seek asylum in the bordering country of Canada.
When the Hossain family tries to flee the country and go to Canada, they are stopped at the border. They are told that there are
Oct 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What didn't make the papers after 9/11 was how a witch hunt of immigrants, especially from Arab countries and Pakistan, took off with hardly any checks or balances thanks to the very terrifying Patriot Act. Undocumented immigrants were an easy vulnerable target of a country who still, after 7 years, has not been able to track down Bin Laden. Civil liberties and human rights were pushed aside in the name of "patriotism". This book does an excellent job of narrating the personal and human experien ...more
Mark Barry
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ask Me No Questions" by Marina Budhos is the story of a family of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and the trials they face in America after the tragedy of 9/11. When Abba is detained by the INS for violating his visa, Nadira and Aisha attempt to save their father as they struggled with the daily challenges of finding their place in a country they now realize is not their home. "Ask Me No Questions" is a heartrending tale of the horrors one family is forced to endure after the U. S. tightens immi ...more
Nadira, just 14, and her family are illegal aliens. Ma, Abba, and her sister Aisha came to the United States from their homeland, Bangladesh, with a visitor's passport. Through a series of mix-ups and blunders, their permanent status was never achieved, although the authorities didn't really seem to care or take much notice...that is, until September 11, 2001 changed everything. Now, all illegal aliens, especially Muslims were being dragged into jail, deported, and questioned about supposed susp ...more
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Class of 2014: Ask Me No Questions 1 5 Oct 14, 2013 11:14AM  

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Marina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Her most recent novel is Watched, which received an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature YA Honor and a The Walter Award Honor. Her other novels include Tell Us We're Home, a 2017 Essex County YA Pick and Ask Me No Questions, recipient of a James Cook Teen Book Award, The Professor of Light, House of Waiting, and a nonficti ...more
“When we came to America, though, we didn't know what the right thing was. Here we lived with no map. We became invisible, the people who swam in between other people's lives, bussing dishes, delivering groceries. What was wrong?

We didn't know. The most important thing, Abba said, was not to stick out. Don't let them see you. But I think it hurt him, to hide so much.”
“Because we looked away in the past, does that mean we can look away now?
Page 76”
More quotes…