Thursday, January 24, 2008
In the Name of God
Jolin, Paula. 2007. IN THE NAME OF GOD. New Hilford, CT: Roaring Brook Press. ISBN 159643211X [Suggested Grade Levels 9- 12]
Nadia loves her cousins, but disagrees with how Westernized all, except Fowzi, have become. He, like Nadia, has made a strong firm commitment to follow the laws of Islam; however, when this devoutness causes Fowzi to be arrested, Nadia’s commitment turns toward fanaticism as she is drawn into Islamic Fundamentalism. After seeking out a man whom she hopes will help her learn more about her cousin’s whereabouts and his strong beliefs, Nadia finds herself at a crossroads. Will she perform the ultimate sacrifice for her religion and her country?
In her debut novel, Paula Jolin introduces readers to a Middle Eastern girl who is committed to her family, religion, and country. Staying true to character, Nadia’s views are often anti United States and her first person account relays common opinions and thoughts on 9-11, the war on terror, and commercialism. In writing the book, Jolin hopes readers “will be able to see that among the very great differences between teens in the West and teens in the Arab world are some great similarities: family conflict, angst about growing up, and the difficulties of sorting right from wrong.”
Have readers find a news article about the Middle East to read from a newspaper or magazine and encourage them to view the words as someone from the Middle East like Nadia might. How would the reader react? Would he or she feel encouraged, dismayed, offended, accepted?
Other books about life in the Middle East:
Antieau, Kim. BROKEN MOON. ISBN 1416917675
Clinton, Cathryn. A STONE IN MY HAND. ISBN 0763625612
Nye, Naomi Shihab. 19 VARIETIES OF GAZELLE: POEMS OF THE MIDDLE EAST. ISBN 0060097655
By Mary D. Buckalo