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Multicultural Fiction > Does My Head Look Big in This?

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message 1: by Lydia (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) | 596 comments mal has decided to wear her hijab just as she is entering her third semester at a very high class prep school. It would not have been a problem at her previous Islamic school, but what is going to happen in this school that values its mission more than it values individual students? She misses her friends from her previous school but she does have her friends McCleans Prep school. And then, of course, there is Adam. What happens when you have a serious crush but do not believe in intimacy before marriage?

This book is funny and touching. Its multicultural theme is well integrated into the story. Abdel-Fattah has written an excellent YA book that seeks to educate through a different setting (Australia), lively characters, a diverse cast of adults with their political, religious, and social views, and a protagonist who has an amazing sense of humor.

I highly recommend this book.

message 2: by Lydia (last edited Feb 14, 2011 02:18PM) (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) | 596 comments Once again, Abdel-Fattah has created a book with not only humor but that remarks on important issues. In Australia, a Lebanese-Muslim girl, Jamillah, or Jamie as she is known at school, faces the problems of racism, peer pressure, and self-identity. Jamie has dyed her hair blonde, wears blue contact lenses, but her greatest love is when she goes the mashara, the Lebanese-Muslim school where she is not only educated on her heritage, but loses herself in the music of her home.

The only real problem I had with this book was towards the end. The book is written in first person by a 10th grader. But towards the end of the book, the author's view of the theme takes over -- in language, tone and vocabulary. Of course you want the protagonist to realize her change, but at the end of one of the last chapters, it really hits you over the head.

Nonetheless, this book is such an appropriate book for YA readers who are not only interested in multicultural books, but also has material for discussing the issues of racism and discrimination. The antagonists are clearly identified early in the book, but the setting of Australia may provide enough geographic distance as to be helpful in drawing parallels with US students.
Ten Things I Hate About Me

message 3: by Lydia (last edited Feb 14, 2011 02:17PM) (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) | 596 comments Hayaat, and her friend Samy, take off on an adventure to cross the border from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, to provide Hayaat's grandmother with soil from her homeland before she dies. Yet this book is about so much more than that one prevalent theme.

Abdel-Fattah, again provides insight to the Muslim and Christian communities in the Middle East. Her portrayal of Hayaat and her family fills the reader with no sympathy, but an understanding of the strength that supports people on both sides of the Wall.

I truly admire the way she constructs her plots, describes her protagonists and her ability to create a protagonist which does not exist as a person, but is rather the concept of politics, systems, and governmental institutions.Where the Streets Had a NameWhere the Streets Had a Name

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