Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One Shot World Tour: Best Read with Vegemite Part 1

Remember how in John Green's An Abundance of Katherines, Colin's sidekick Hassan generally introduced himself with the phrase "not a terrorist"? You know why he does it, and you sympathize. But really, that wasn't Hassan's story, so while it was great to have some ethnicity in popular teen lit, it makes ya kinda want to see something from the perspective of a contemporary Muslim teen wandering around a world that maybe isn't the friendliest at the moment.

Enter Australian author Randa Abdel-Fattah and Does My Head Look Big In This? It's her first book, and it's certainly getting notice with it's fresh subject and catchy title. Not to mention the beautiful cover.

Amal has decided it's time. She's ready to wear the headscarf, the hijab, full-time. This means in public, and in an Australia only a couple years beyond 9/11, that isn't going to go unnoticed when she returns to school from the holiday break. Her Melbourne prep school isn't going to know what to do with her. But she's ready. She thinks.

I think that Abdel-Fattah nails it. The book is incredibly approachable and Amal is grounded and smart; she knows what she's in for and she's prepared to stand up for herself. Abdel-Fattah is occasionally in danger of becoming didactic, and the writing itself is not fantastic, but the fun, genuine, and honest tone of the novel in general overcomes those tendencies. Amal's voice will certainly appeal to readers, and I won't have a problem recommending the title.

Take a look at the Inside-a-Dog interview with Abdel-Fattah.

Other blog reviews of DMHLBIT:


'Tis a full day of blogging today, take a look at the ONE SHOT WORLD TOUR schedule.


Kelly said...

And, Jackie, this book succeeds because it's not a message book. My 11-year-old has read it several times for both enjoyment and because the issues presented interest her greatly (she was in London during both July bombings, her best skating friend is Muslim).

tanita✿davis said...

It sounds really great - and Kelly, your daughter reads above her grade level, doesn't she? I thought this was for older teens. But I am looking forward to reading it very much!!

Susan T. said...

Hey, Jackie, I think I'd like this one. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

I like the Aussie cover too - you can see it in that Inside a Dog interview.

Anonymous said...

I just finished Abdel-Fattah's book last night and I LOVED it!!!

Little Willow said...

Fantastic book. Truly true.