Sunday, May 17, 2020

All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney - ADVISABLE

All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney, 415 pages. Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan), 2019. $18.

Language: G (0 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG (teen dating) Violence: G.



16yo Allie Abraham is an all American girl. She gets good grades, has a bright future and a great boyfriend, Wells. Wells' dad is a nationally syndicated ultra conservative talk show host whose distrust of Muslims is no secret. Allie's father is from Jordan, her mother is Anglo-American but they are culturally Muslim. Allie's fair skin and red hair enables her to decide who she tells about her Muslim heritage. While the family is not religious Allie's interactions with her Grandmother and her Muslim cousins have inspired her to want to learn about Islam - and decide for herself, so she joins a study group of supportive girls and even begins to learn Arabic. But she is torn - her father probably won't approve of her religious decisions, and dating Wells is tricky - for both of them.

The opening scene of the book - where she confronts a bigoted passenger on an airplane is gold. I loved this book - Allie is spunky and undaunted, willing to speak her mind when necessary. I loved the glimpse into Muslim society and Islam - there is quite a bit of religious discussion, as Allie is learning about her culture. The romance is sweet - Allie is trying to reconcile dating (and other things). While better suited for High School because of the subject matter and age of the characters, I love to see more diverse titles in the middle school, so I will certainly be putting this on my shelves and recommending it.

Lisa Librarian

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