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From Somalia with Love

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  277 ratings  ·  41 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 Books (first published December 28th 2008)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-310
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)
Oct 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poc-authors, ya
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.
W.B. Abdullah
Aug 20, 2010 rated it liked it
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
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 f
Sep 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
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 re
Jul 16, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.

An interesting peek into the daily life of a Somali Muslim teenager.

Safia has been raised in England, and lives with her mother and two older brothers. Out of the blue, she finds out that her father, who has been in Somalia, is finally coming to rejoin the family.

With the arrival of her father, the family dynamics are suddenly upside down. While Safia wants to support her mother's happiness, she feels left out and unsure of her place, especially after her favorite brother clashes with her fath
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
As far as I know there is a dearth of youth fiction depicting the Somalian immigrant experience, so this is a welcome find. Safia is 14 and her family lives in the projects (or estates) of London. After 12 years, the family is reunited with her long-lost Abo (father) and his re-inclusion in their lives shifts the family dynamic. Safia questions her role in the family and the trajectory of her life, and turns to cousin Firdous, the family bad girl, as a confidant. The characters and narrative cou ...more
Sandra Y.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Starsha Vang
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-310
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.
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.
Moushumi Ghosh
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
I was curious about how Muslim girls in Britain are growing up ever since those three British Muslim school girls ran away to join ISIS. This book though is about growing up without a father and then adjusting to him when he gets back. It's more a tale about how not to fall off the straight and narrow path as a good Muslim girl. I am glad that such books are being written even though I am not the intended audience.
Samra Said
Jul 31, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chapter-book
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.
David Hilton
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Maria Burnham
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great insight into a culture I needed to learn more about! This book is a true insight into the experiences many of our centra MN Somali students are living on a daily basis. It's a small book--quick to read!
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oct 05, 2009 added it
Just be yourself dnt follow others. Dont always keep everything inside express your self allow your self to be heard
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book... Packed with the values that today's muslim woman requires in the ever changing world we live in!!
ღ Ruqs ღ
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: no-romance
Poorly written - the plot was underdeveloped and things jumped and went along too quickly... not an enjoyable read :/
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
Book#4 for Muslim Voices.
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
words cannot explainn......absolutly amazing book .emotional and realtable,totally relaitab;e
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Na’ima B Robert is descended from Scottish Highlanders on her father's side and the Zulu people on her mother's side. She was born in Leeds, grew up in Zimbabwe and went to university in London. At high school, her loves included performing arts, public speaking and writing stories that shocked her teachers.
Her popular 'From my sisters' lips' explored the reality of living as a Muslim woman in th