Author: Ahmed, Samira
A terrifying, futuristic United Sates where Muslim-Americans are forced into internment camps, and seventeen-year-old Layla Amin must lead a revolution against complicit silence.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 501610
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2019 *Starred Review* Set shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Ahmed’s novel presents a chilling depiction of America, in which U.S. citizens allow themselves to be controlled by prejudice and fear and succumb to the hateful rhetoric of a populist leader. Seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are among the Muslims rounded up and transported to Manzanar, an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. While most people quietly comply, Layla is determined to fight back for the freedom that is rightfully hers. Layla finds allies both inside and outside the camp, and before long, she herself is at the center of a rebellion against the despicable people in charge. This is a poignant, necessary story that paints a very real, very frank picture of hatred and ignorance, while also giving readers and marginalized individuals hope. It emphasizes that the oppressed have a voice and the power to speak up and fight back, while also reminding us that all citizens have the obligation, responsibility, and power to raise their voices and defend their fellow citizens from mistreatment or abuse. Though it might recall dystopian novels of the recent past, this carries so much more weight and is infinitely more terrifying, since its setting—a near-future U.S.—could very well exist today, tomorrow, or only a handful of years from now. This timely, important novel should spark many conversations about contemporary issues. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2019 Gr 8 Up–In a world disturbingly similar to our own, the president of the United States incites hate, sending Muslim Americans to a prison camp in the California desert, near Manzanar, where those of Japanese descent were incarcerated by the U.S. government during World War II. Seventeen-year-old Layla burns with anger—at the malevolent Director, who runs the camp; at the complicit Muslim American "minders" who work for the camp; and at those who let these injustices happen. Though Layla's parents worry about her, she is compelled to shut down the camp, with the help of fellow prisoners; her boyfriend, David, who's on the outside; and a seemingly sympathetic guard. As in Ahmed's debut, Love, Hate and Other Filters, a teen grapples with both typical adolescent concerns and burdens that weigh heavily. Layla wonders if putting her family in danger is worth taking a stand. Though this tense novel brims with action, it also gives Layla, and readers, space to contemplate questions like this. She darkly notes that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it, yet she also realizes that "forgetting is in the American grain." Teens who finish Ahmed's captivating work won't soon overlook the ugly truths stamped into our nation's history. VERDICT Sensitive and stirring. For all collections.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2019 Gr 8 Up—"Exclusion laws" imposed by an Islamophobic president have upended the lives of Muslims across the United States, including Layla's. Removed from school for her own good by her parents, Layla circumvents state-imposed curfews to see her boyfriend, David, who is Jewish. When she and her family and other Muslims are rounded up by the authorities and forced to live in an internment camp in the California desert, Layla learns what it means to survive—and to fight. This cautionary tale for our times draws parallels between the situation Muslim Americans face today and the horrors of the Japanese American internment. - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.