Thursday, January 3, 2013

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

Does My Head Look Big In This?I found this book on the list of recommended books at my local library, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Amal is an eleventh-grade, Muslim girl, born in Australia, and she decides to wear her hajib, the Muslim head scarf, full time. She gets some of the negative attention and comments that she expects, but she's almost overwhelmed by the curiosity of her classmates. She isn't sure how to deal with Adam, a cute boy at school, since she isn't allowed to date. The mother of her friend, Leila, is trying to get her daughter married, and another friend has taken up smoking to lose weight. Then, Amal signs up for the debate team, and she's afraid of how other people will react to her. Her elderly neighbor doesn't seem to like her no matter what she does. And what will people do after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and in Bali? Amal does her best to stay true to her faith, but she feels her hajib makes it harder.

This book is probably written more for a female audience. The girls discuss boys, fashion, their mothers, and gossip. The plot teaches a lot about the Muslim faith, although Amal actually went to a Catholic school when she was younger. I enjoyed her talks with her neighbor as they both learned about each other's cultures. I wasn't sure where the plot was headed throughout much of the book, but all of the different conflicts were resolved in the end.

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