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Wanting Mor

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  786 Ratings  ·  182 Reviews
Jameela and her family live in a poor, war-torn village in Afghanistan. Even with her cleft lip and lack of educational opportunities, Jameela feels relatively secure, sustained by her Muslim faith and the love of her mother, Mor. But when Mor dies, Jameela’s father impulsively decides to start a new life in Kabul. Jameela is appalled as he succumbs to alcohol and drugs, t ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Groundwood Books (first published 2009)
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A sad story about a young girl growing in Afghanistan after the wars and during American occupation of that country. It is very sad.

I read this book at the same time that I read Esperanza Rising. Both stories touched me and both had a strong female as the main character, though Jameela in Wanting Mor seemed a little stronger mostly because of the ending of the story. I would like to hope that reading these kinds of books would help girls to know that they are stronger than they think and that li
This book is inspired by true events. This is a powerful tale of what it is like for a young girl in Afghanistan. So hard to believe the choices people make for their own gain. I hope this story does show other young readers, the difficulties that children in another part of the world must face. I recommend this book!
Feb 22, 2011 Gabrielle rated it it was amazing
Wanting Mor, a novel by Rukhsana Khan, tells the story of Jameela, a young Afghan girl whose mother dies in the beginning of the book. After that, her life becomes a series of tragedies and mishaps, and yet Jameela's goodness and honesty make this story ultimately a happy one.

After her mother dies, Jameela's father takes them from their small rural village to Kabul. He marries a woman who doesn't like Jameela, so he takes Jameela to the market and abandons her there. It's a heartbreaking part of
Casey Strauss
Jul 20, 2010 Casey Strauss rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-eastern
Jameela, a young Afghani girl, lives in a poor village with her mother and father. The rest of Jameela’s family has perished in a bombing at a family wedding. Jameela’s father is left broken and angry from this event; he withdraws from his wife and daughter to deal with his grief. Jameela then relies on her mother as her support system, going to her for advice and companionship. When Jameela’s mother suddenly dies, her world, as she knows it ends. Further emotionally devastated, her father turns ...more
Canadian Children's Book Centre
Jameela keenly misses her beloved dead mother (Mor). Mor’s teaching had encouraged her on the path to becoming a gracious Muslim woman. However, Afghanistan life after the American invasion of 2001 is treacherous for vulnerable youth. Jameela’s father, ruined by drugs, alcohol and other Western- or war-spawned problems, cannot guide her. He moves them to the city, but at his new wife’s urging he abandons his daughter at the market and Jameela ends up in an orphanage. Readers track Jameela’s jour ...more
Jan 30, 2017 Catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: international
I read this book as an ebook.

Rukhsana Khan is a Pakistani-Canadian children's author whose stories offer children connections to the cultures of the Middle East. I came across the novel, Wanting Mor, when I was looking at the Middle East Book Awards. Wanting Mor won this award for youth literature in 2009.

The story takes place in Afghanistan shortly after the 2001 invasion by Americans. It is about a girl named Jameela. She grew up in a small, poor village in Afghanistan that is torn apart from
Feb 20, 2011 Marija rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most heart-wrenching books I have read this year. The story centers around Jameela, a young Afghani girl who loses her mother Mor. Her father has many of his own personal issues and decides to uproot Jameela from their home and head off to Kabul, seeking a better life. Once in Kabul, the pair move around from place to place, and when her father re-marries, Jameela finds herself abandoned in the middle of this strange city. She ends up in an orphanage where she has to fall bac ...more
I don't believe there are many books about Afghanistan for children, and this one manages to be 9-to-12 appropriate while at the same time showing the incredible difficulties of life (especially as a female) in that most unfortunate of nations. Probably the author's background as a Muslim (albeit a Pakistani one) contributed to the authenticity of the narrative.

That said, it was kind of predictable, most of the characters were two-dimensional, and (without trying to spoil the book) it had a sort
Poem Fanatic
This book has been written in a really beautiful way. The book starts off with the death of Jameela's mother, making the reader want to find out more. The plunge Jameela's life takes is really interesting, and I'm looking forward to more books from Duckbill's Not Our War series[ NOW].
Apr 13, 2010 Al_norahughes rated it it was ok
Shelves: mc-literature
I had a difficult time getting into and staying with this book. I think it would be appropriate for teenagers who are well read and up for a challenge. In addition, I think the teenager would have to have a knowledge of Islamic culture and a desire to know more. Just couldn't get into this one.
Jul 10, 2015 Kristina rated it really liked it
Shelves: junior-books
4.5 stars. A quick, one sitting read. Good story, recommend for Gr 5 and up. Had the potential to be longer and more developed, for which I would've given it the 5 stars.
Apr 11, 2010 Maureenm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Mar 04, 2012 Addie rated it liked it
Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan
Groundwood Books, House of Anasi Press, Toronto & Berkeley, 2009
Interest level: YA (grades 7-10)

The main character, Jameela, is a young girl from Afghanistan. Her mother, Mor, dies from disease at the beginning of the book and now Jameela is left behind to deal with her irresponsible father and take over all the household duties. They live in poverty in a hut with no plumbing and a dirt floor, and they cook over a fire. They never have enough food, and their remot
Cameron Effert
May 18, 2017 Cameron Effert rated it it was ok
Wanting Mor was a quick and easy read. Could be read by anyone in middle school and up. The main events in the story are very unsettling to read about. Just imagining that a father would abandon his daughter after the mother had just died recently is heartbreaking. This does happen in other cultures around the world and it was good to learn about. To get into this book you really have to want to learn about another way of life. After reading it I would give this book two stars. I give it two sta ...more
Ms. Stephens
May 21, 2017 Ms. Stephens rated it it was ok
I really liked reading a book about an Afghani girl!
Desiree Frias
Dec 07, 2016 Desiree Frias rated it it was amazing
One of the best books set in the region that I have read. Young girls will find power and inspiration in Jameela's strong character.
Feb 19, 2011 Julia rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-eastern

Wanting Mor is the story of Jameela, a young Afghani girl. When her mother dies after a short illness, Jameela’s father decides to pack up and leave their home for Kabul selling all their belongings. Is doesn’t take long for Jameela’s Baba to remarry. Jameela becomes a virtual slave to her stepmother, cooking and cleaning and sleeping on the floor. She knows that her Mor would want her to be good so she never complains about the hard work that she has to endure. Her father spends much of the tim
Katy Vance
Feb 27, 2011 Katy Vance rated it really liked it
Overall, I liked this book. It is reminds me of a Thousand Splendid Suns but for a younger audience. I appreciated that the author took the time at the end of the book to explain the background for her story, which stemmed from a "report issued by Afghanistan's department of orphanages". Additionally, she acknowledged the women who helped her vet the story for accuracy and cultural authenticity, who are from Kabul and Khandahar. There is an excellent glossary at the end, which I wish I ahd thoug ...more
Apr 30, 2015 carrietracy rated it really liked it
It is possible for a book to at once be tragic and full of hope, because Wanting Mor is both of these things. After the American invasion life in Afghanistan is difficult. Fields lie fallow since no one can risk farming among the landmines. Subsequently, food is scarce. Many people have lost loved ones due to hunger, illness or the foreign invaders. When Jameela’s mother dies, her father takes her away from the village she has known all of her life to Kabul. Jameela tries her best to be useful a ...more
Oct 01, 2009 Ari rated it liked it
This story is all about Jameela and that's good and bad. I didn't like that because I felt that the rest of the characters were ignored. I really wanted to learn more about the stories of the other girls at the orphanage where Jameela ends up. Well, not all the girls, but the ones who she mentions the most. That's all she does, briefly mention them but she never delves deeper into their stories (Zeba, Soraya, Arwa), yet they know her entire story. This didn't seem particularly fair to me. I also ...more
Apr 05, 2010 Rebecca rated it liked it
"If you can't be beautiful you should at least be good. People will appreciate that."

The protagonist Jameela embodies goodness. It is hard not to fall in love with her. She is patient, long suffering and sweet. Her attempts at being "good" when faced with impossible life situations left me wanting to rescue her from all the horrors dealt her throughout the story. Yet, I was left worried about the ultimate message this story sends the reader.

It's not that I am against "goodness" per se. But, ho
Feb 21, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-eastern
Published: Groundwood Books, 2010
Age: 10 and up
Jameela is a young Afghani girl living during the Taliban and the American invasion with her mother and father. Her mother, whom she is very close to and gives her some security during this difficult time, suddenly dies. She lives in poverty, has no education and is born with a birth defect that left her with a cleft palette. Her father takes her to Kabul and does not care for her. He is a drunk and drug addicted and marries a woman for her home. Th
Mrs. Romaniuk
Feb 15, 2010 Mrs. Romaniuk rated it really liked it
“I thought she was sleeping,” says Jameela at the beginning of this moving book. She describes how she discovered her mother, motionless and cold, one early morning. From this point on, her life changes drastically at a dizzying pace. Her father takes her away from the village she called home to live in Kabul. Jameela is self-conscious and constantly hides behind her porani due to her cleft palate. Not long after, her father remarries and Jameela’s stepmother convinces him to abandon Jameela. Th ...more
"Wanting Mor" reminded me a bit of a Cinderella story, in that the main character, Jameela, loses her mother and is mistreated by her father and new stepmother. This is the second novel I have read recently that is set in Afghanistan, and I found the conditions for women to be shocking in both novels. Jameela is a young girl who suffers from a cleft lip. In the beginning of the story, her mother dies. The reader can immediately see the caution that Jameela takes when caring for her father who sm ...more
Eh Lah
Jan 14, 2011 Eh Lah rated it really liked it
My teacher was suggested this book for me to read. The book is not going to be that hard to read. And I’m could know the word that are used and the event well. Then I take to read the book. It is how I get the book “Wanting Mor.”
Even though I didn’t choose the book myself, I love this book. I think the author so smart. The book was just a fiction. But I had a feeling for it. The reason I think why the author was written the book as thing happen in the story is to make the reader experience of ha
Julie Miller
Jul 15, 2012 Julie Miller rated it liked it
Stories like this are hard to come by; so little has been written about a young woman's experience of growing up in Afghanistan. I found value in the eye-opening way the author brought to life the heartbreaking conditions and plot turns this girl has to face. The ending was far too unrealistic for what is going on in Afghanistan today, but I can understand why the author did it. To make a tween read a book that is devestating all the way through AND have a devestating end would be too much.

Samantha Shock
Nov 10, 2015 Samantha Shock rated it liked it
Wanting Mor is about a young girl growing up in the war torn country of Afghanistan. When her mother dies of a disease contracted during the war she is left alone with her drunken father. With her father's sudden decision to leave the city she was raised she jameela if forced to leave her world and all that she knows to go into the city with the father that barley even looks at her let alone shows her the love of a family. When they reach the city her 'baba' makes a deal with an old friend to le ...more
Jan 01, 2010 Erica rated it really liked it
Jameela has never had much, but she does have a roof over her head, even if the floor is dirt. And food to eat, however simple it may be. And most importantly, she has her mother, her 'mor'. With her cleft lip she has never considered herself beautiful, but she has always tried to be good. But when she wakes up one morning to find her mother dead there's an even larger cleft created her in life. Her father moves her to town where she works as a servant, then he marries a selfish woman, and ultim ...more
This book is about a young Afghan girl named Jameela. She lives in a poor village in Afghanistan. Her mother died and her father is in charged of her. He hardly acts like a father in the story. They moved to Kabul for better opportunities and she was forced to leave behind, including the grave of her mother. She had to adjust herself to the place. Her father remarried. The step-mother could not stand Jameela and she became a slave to her. She ended up living in an orphanage because Baba
Leesa Savage
This story is about Jameela and the struggles she has endured as a child. She was born with a cleft lip, a birth defect. One day Jameela wakes up to find her mother had passed away. Poor Jameela has lived in poverty, many family members had died from either the war or getting sick. Her father is an alcoholic, has a major drug addiction and to top it off a temper that would scare anyone. Jameela father does not give her the proper time to grieve about her mother, and makes her move from Afghanist ...more
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