How to be a Muslim American Girl

This book explores how to be a Muslim American girl.  Our identity is composed of so many things, and when your religion is a source of conflict where you live, it’s hard to make sense of who you are.  Allie is exploring all that while trying to be a teenager who struggles with her parents, manages a series of friendships and might just like a really cute boy.

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Title: All-American Muslim Girlhow to be a muslim American girl

Author: Nadine Jolie Courtney

Target: Grades 6 and up

Series: No

What this book is about:

Allie Abraham looks like the all-American girl.  What most people don’t know is that her family is Muslim.  They don’t practice the religion, and she doesn’t look the part, so she has been immune from much of the hate and suspicion surrounding Islam.  But as the racism continues to build, she feels responsible to defend her family who immigrated from Jordan and her religion, which she feels is completely misunderstood.  As she becomes more immersed in studying the Muslim faith, will her boyfriend, whose father is a prominent conservative, stick with her?  Will her high school friends accept her now and will her new Muslim friends tolerate the way she incorporates the religion into her American life?

Why I love this book:

  • Books are such a wonderful way to humanize those we tend to clump into groups.  I don’t know any practicing Muslims, so this story was a powerful window into the individuals whom I tend to stereotype.  As always, I get the needed reminder that whatever your religion, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, ect.. we are all individuals who love our families, who want to have friends and fit in, and who want to make connections.
  • This was a nice primer for me on the Muslim religion.  I don’t know a lot about it, so I appreciated understanding how Muslims celebrate their faith and gaining a basic understanding of their beliefs.  
  • The book also provided a good romance, a realistic look at managing friendships and a view on working with parents.  These are all things teens of any religion must contend with so readers, in general, will be drawn to this story.

Who this book is for:

Great for teens looking for realistic fiction.  A good book for those who need to understand that Muslim kids are just kids and for those who need to see themselves represented in stories.  Kids in the younger reading range will have to be open to a less plot-driven story and one that has a greater level of religious discussion.  Reminded me a bit of the difficulty kids have in melding cultures in Frankly in Love.

Final thoughts:

I wish we could get books like this in the hands of adults.  

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: All-American Muslim Girl.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.