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Title: Does My Head Look Big in This?
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Number of Pages: 360 pages
Book Number/Goal: 57/75 for 2009
My Rating: 3.5/5

Amal is a sixteen-year-old Palestinian-Australian girl attending a mostly-white prep school. When the new semester starts, she decides she wants to wear the hijab full-time, even though she knows she's just letting herself in for even more harrassment from her clueless classmates.

This is a cute story. It seems like a pretty typical YA chick-lit story. The girls are all very girly and into fashion and makeup and boys, and there's boy trouble and mean girls screaming at parents who Just Don't Understand and all that sort of thing. But it's nice to see that sort of story with a Muslim protagonist.

I really liked that she wasn't the only Muslim in the story, either. She wasn't standing in for all Muslim women; there were her family members, her friends Yasmeen and Leila and their families, and mentions of the kids at the Islamic school Amal used to go to.

Reading this felt almost as nostalgic as Alex Sanchez's The God Box did. Even though I was raised in a conservative Christian family, not Muslim, a lot of what Amal said felt very familiar (I was never personally religious the way she is, but I certainly knew many people who were/are).

The writing isn't that great. I'm really over this first-person info-dump thing that seems to be so popular. I don't mind first-person narration, but it's possible to tell a story without first giving me a whole chapter about the narrator's life story, really.

Mooch from BookMooch.


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