Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel Fattah

Alright, here goes with my first review after lots of exciting changes! Ok, not that many changes but I AM going to try reviewing more books by POC and LGBT authors, liked I just said, one post ago.

This book is great, I can't really think of many other books that deal with the issues Muslim teens face, or actually any at all besides this one and Fattah's other book "Ten Things I Hate About Me." I read this book while I was sitting in my furnitureless apartment in the middle of Borough Park, Brooklyn. I had all hardwood floors and I repeat, NO FURNITURE. I sat on the floor for four hours, waiting for my bed to be delivered (damn you sleepy's) and read this book the entire time. So basically this book saved my sanity and boredom, but not my aching spinal chord.

The main character in this book, Amal, makes the decision early on to start wearing a hijab (head scarf) full time. Her decision is met with a lot of negativity, from her friends, her schoolmates, and even her family, but she sticks to her guns and doesn't let them bring her down! Ok, it's not as easy as that and she goes through a lot of inner turmoil and angst (my favorite) as she comes to terms with her decision.

Backing up Amal are a super duper cast of supporting characters, her four entertaining best friends, some cute boys, some bitchy girls, and her hilarious family.

Like I previously mentioned, the issues that Muslim teens face are not extremely prevalent in YA literature. I wish there were more books in general that dealt with teens facing religious issues and questioning their beliefs or their parents beliefs, or not questioning it, but embracing it and loving it. I don't have any particular religious ideal to push, but I think that many teens are struggling with these topics in real life and just like other things YA (sex, family, friendship, etc) religion is an important part of growing and forming your identity (for some, not all). Let's have some more of these books people!!!

1 comment:

  1. i've been wanting to read this book, and the other one by fattah, so i'm glad you reviewed it! you're right -- religion (and even conscious non-religion) is a HUGE part of determining identity for so many teens, so it's great to see a book tackle it and NOT in the fundie-christian context (pro or con, either way).