Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-FattahDoes My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Published by Orchard Books on 2007-05-01
Genres: Prejudice & Racism, Religious, Young Adult
Pages: 360
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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three-stars

When sixteen-year-old Amal decides to wear the hijab full-time, her entire world changes, all because of a piece of cloth...

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.
Can she handle the taunts of "towel head," the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah's debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.

I’ve always been interested in learning about religions which are different from mine. I was raised Baptist. I’ve learned a lot about Judaism through books. The only books I’ve read pertaining to Islam though, were A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseni. When I saw a young adult book featuring a Muslim girl on the cover, my interest was piqued.áDoes My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah centers around a girl named Amal who makes the decision to wear her hijab full-time.

Like many other young adult books, Does My Head Look Big In This?áfocused upon identity. For many people, religion is a large part of their identity. I was fascinated by the trials Amal underwent as a result of wearing a simple religious article of clothing.

One of my favorite things about Does My Head Look Big In This? was that it is told in first person. Amal is a lovely narrator. She’s shallow at times, she’s sarcastic and biting, but she can also be a very heartfelt person – sounds like a lot of sixteen year old girls to me. I especially liked how spunky Amal was. I liked that she wasn’t too terribly bland.

My biggest complaint with this book were that certain parts felt contrived. It seemed as though some parts were written strictly with the attempt to preach to the reader. Granted, the intended audience is obviously younger than me, but I feel like patronization is not necessary. I feel if Abdel-Fattah had shown the reader through character actions, rather than spell out her story’s moral, it would have strengthened the story.I won’t claim this book gives me the right to say I know what it is like to be a Muslim woman, but I do feel as though I can empathize with woman who face ignorance because of their decision to follow religious tradition.

I would recommend sipping peppermint tea while reading this book. Peppermint tea contains no alcohol. It is delicious, especially with a copious helping of sugar. I felt it was appropriate to choose a non-alcoholic drink to represent this book, as it is a YA book and it is a book which focuses around Islamic beliefs, one of which is to not drink alcohol. Just like peppermint tea, Does My Head Look Big In This? was sweet, straightforward, simple and fresh.
three-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. I haven’t ever read this one but I have heard of it before. I HATE how sometimes books patronize the readers..like okay obviously it’s not meant for me as a 25 year old but YAs are smart toooo! They don’t want to be talked at like they are babies.

    However, this does interest me because I feel like I never see many YA books featuring an Islamic character (not saying they aren’t out there..I just never stumble upon them) . I really do want to branch out more and find books that explore different religions and cultures in YA. I feel like I do that a lot in my adult reading but not so much my YA.

Trackbacks

  1. […] by Patrick Rothfuss – Fantasy, Adult, and AMAZING. I highly recommend you check this out!! Does My Head Look Big In This by Randa Abdel-Fattah – YA, Multicultural – average read, I felt I learned something. […]

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