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Boy vs. Girl - Na'ima B. Robert

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Na'ima B. Robert / Paperback / 272 Pages / Book is published 2010-07-15 by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

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      16.03.2012 13:05
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      An interesting look at the challenges faced for Muslim teenagers growing up

      This book is about some of the challenges faced by Muslim youth, torn between their religion, this society and their parents cultural expectations. It is set over one month showing the changes that happen for one sister and brother over the month of Ramadan.

      Initially when reading the first chapter or two I wasn't too impressed and didn't think I was going to like the book, as the relationships between the characters didn't seem believable at first but after getting further into the book I started to really enjoy it, and at the end I was sorry to finish it and would have happily read more.

      This book covers a lot of relevant issues for Muslim teenagers and young people, such as starting to wear hijab, relationships, marrying outside of your own background, expectations from parents, peer pressure and gangs. It would be an encouraging read for young Muslims trying to get more into practising their religion as it shows how both of the twins found solace in the religion, especially fasting and praying taraweeh.

      The book seems accessible to non Muslim readers too, as it has a glossary at the back and aspects of the religion are explained well for those who wouldn't know, such as about fasting in Ramadan. I think perhaps that is partly why I didn't enjoy the first chapter or so as it seemed more focused on explaining what is Ramadan, for those who didn't know, whereas I did not really need that explanation myself and found that part a bit "wooden", but it is definitely worth reading past that and continuing on with the rest of the book as it does get quite gripping.

      By the end of the book you feel attached to the characters, and it is as if you have been through a journey with all of them. I would recommend it especially for teenagers, and am quite interested in reading this authors other novel now.

      I have also reviewed this book on Amazon under the name M. Marikar

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