|All-American Muslim girl|
Author: Courtney, Nadine Jolie
Sixteen-year-old Allie, aged seven when she knew her family was different and feared, struggles to claim her Muslim and Arabic heritage while finding her place as an American teenager.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 506309
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/01/2019 From her looks, people don't suspect Allie is anything but an all-American (that is, white) girl. But when her family settles in Providence, Georgia, the Islamophobia she has until then only witnessed from a distance forces her to find the strength to tell her friends and boyfriend—whose dad is a fearmongering TV talking head—that her family is Muslim. The road to claiming her religion through study is rife with bigotry but also rich with support. There's a lot to unpack here, but isn't there always when it comes to religion and politics? Courtney does so with poise, naturally integrating genuinely informative context into the story. Allie's inner turmoil about having it all while still abiding by her religion resonates, and her choice to be a practicing Muslim is particularly moving during a time when that choice can seem dangerous. Passages debunk misconceptions about Islam, addressing the topics of feminism, equality, and more, urging one to consider how the Western gaze can lead to misinterpretation. Readers trapped between two worlds, religious or not, will find solace here. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2019 Gr 7 Up—High school sophomore Allie Abraham often feels like an imposter. Her father is a Circassian Muslim and her mother is a white American who converted to Islam when they married. Red-haired, fair-skinned Allie is used to being told that she doesn't "look Muslim," and her non-practicing father, afraid of potential harassment, encourages her to keep her identity to herself. But Allie increasingly worries that she's betraying her fellow Muslims by hiding who she is, especially after moving to conservative Georgia. Her new classmates openly denigrate Islam in front of her, leaving Allie feeling like "a receptacle for unguarded Just Between Us White People ignorance," while at her new Qu'ran study group, she struggles with feeling "not Muslim enough." But when Allie falls for charming, vulnerable soccer player Wells and learns that his father is the host of a cable news show that spews Islamophobic and anti-immigrant vitriol, Allie feels increasingly driven to take a stand. This book may bill itself as a romance, but the true heart of the novel is Allie's experience falling in love with the meaning and beauty of Islam. She grapples honestly with the hard questions involved in belonging to a faith community: What if she's cherry-picking her beliefs? What if others don't see her as a "good" Muslim? Is she still allowed to question or criticize aspects of a faith that she's new to practicing? #Ownvoices author Courtney incorporates a diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints among Allie's Muslim friends and family, creating a vibrant cast of characters who compellingly portray the individual nuances of religious experience. The result is a layered and thoughtful exploration of spiritual awakening that never condescends to teen readers, exploring feminism, prayer, and religious ritual, family bonds across cultures and generations, white privilege, LGBTQ inclusion, and grief in authentic and heartfelt ways. VERDICT Religion is rarely handled with such wisdom and depth in YA, or discussed so lovingly. A rich and memorable exploration of faith and family that is a first purchase for all collections.—Elizabeth Giles, Lubuto Library Partners, Zambia - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.