Thursday, June 3, 2010
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
I'm currently reading this Ya novel and enjoying it and wanted to share a few lines from it:
"Do you have any idea how it feels to be me, a Muslin today? I mean, just turn on the television, open a newspaper. There will be some feature article analyzing, deconstructing, whipping up some theory about Islam and Muslims. Another chance to make sense of this phenomenon called 'the Muslim.' "
This book appealed to me because I want to try to understand what it's like to be a Muslim in a world where that is considered by some to be a "dirty word."
Australian 11th-grader Amal is smart, funny, outspoken, a good student, and a loyal friend. She is also a devout Muslim who decides to wear the hijab, or head covering, full-time. The story tells of her emotional and spiritual journey as she copes with a mad crush on a boy, befriends an elderly Greek neighbor, and tries to help a friend who aspires to be a lawyer but whose well-intentioned mother is trying to force her to leave school and get married. Amal is also battling the misconceptions of non-Muslims about her religion and culture. While the novel deals with a number of serious issues, it is extremely funny and entertaining, and never preachy or forced. The details of Amal's family and social life are spot-on, and the book is wonderful at showing the diversity within Muslim communities and in explaining why so many women choose to wear the hijab. Amal is an appealing and believable character. She trades verbal jibes with another girl, she is impetuous and even arrogant at times, and she makes some serious errors of judgment. And by the end of the story, she and readers come to realize that "Putting on the hijab isn't the end of the journey. It's just the beginning of it."
Have a good Thursday!