Thursday, January 24, 2008
Does My Head Look Big in This?
Abdel-Fattah, Randa. 2007. DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? New York: Orchard. ISBN 0439919479 [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12]
“One minute it was the last thing on my mind. The next minute this courage flowed through me and it just felt unbelievably right. I was ready to wear the hijab.” Making the decision may have come suddenly and abruptly, but the strength to stick with that decision is what defines Amal. Through tenth grade, Amal attended Hidaya Islamic College where the hijab was part of the uniform, but the school only goes through tenth grade. So eleventh grade finds Amal at a private school away from her friends and away from the “Muslimness,” yet as a personal choice, she chooses to continue wearing the hijab.
The struggles that Amal faces as an Australian-Muslim-Palestinian girl are not limited to being a “towelhead.” She has boy problems, neighbor problems, friend problems, and family problems; however, all of the issues that Amal must contend with will help her define who she is and who she wants to be. Choosing to wear the hijab may have started her path to self-discovery, but the lessons Amal learns from and embraces are what create her identity.
Teenagers understand the pressures of high school and the need/desire to fit in with their peers. Discuss with them whether or not they would ever choose to wear a hijab or a similar article of clothing that represents their faith or culture. Discuss the benefits and trials that would come from having the courage to make such a public statement.
Other books about Muslim teenagers:
Hafiz, Dilara, Imran Hafiz, and Yasmine Hafiz. THE AMERICAN MUSLIM TEENAGER’S HANDBOOK. ISBN 0979253128
Moezzi, Melody. WAR ON ERROR: REAL STORIES OF AMERICAN MUSLIMS. ISBN 1557288550
By Mary D. Buckalo