Sunday, December 8, 2019

More to the Story by Hena Khan - ESSENTIAL

More to the Story by Hena Khan, 257 pages. Salaam Reads (Simon & Schuster), 2019. $18. 

Content: G 



Little Women gets a makeover in this modern adaptation about four Pakistani-American sisters growing up in Atlanta. Jameela is the second oldest sister, reprising the main role of strong-willed Jo. The other sisters are responsible, kind Maryam, shy, sweet Bisma, and messy, bratty Aleeza. Jameela has a lot to contend with. Her father has taken a job overseas and her British male cousin has moved in with her aunt and uncle. She throws herself into her leadership role with the school newspaper, but even that has complications since she and the editor don’t see eye to eye. Then comes Bisma’s cancer diagnosis which forces everyone to come together for something bigger than themselves.

This is a well-written book. The characters have distinct personalities that are clearly modeled after the original Little Women sisters. This would be an excellent selection for a compare/contrast study of a classic and its modern adaptation. The need for school libraries to provide books for their immigrant populations and enlighten all students about cultures around the world make this book a must. It effectively provides a glimpse of the Pakistani heritage, culture and religion, and what it's like to be of non-European descent in America.

Reviewer: Valerie McEnroe, MLIS

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