Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Does My Head Look Big in This?

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

I'm experiencing a new identity, a new expression of who I am on the inside, but I know that I'm not alone. I'm not breaking new ground. I'm sharing something with millions of other women around the world and it feels so exciting. I know some people might find it hard to believe but walking around the mall tonight I'd never felt so free and sure of who I am. I felt safe from people judging me and making assumptions about my character from the length of my skirt or the size of my bra. I felt protected from all the crap about beauty and image. As scared as I was walking around the stores in the hijab, I was also experiencing a feeling of empowerment and freedom. I know I have a long way to go. I still dressed to impress and I took ages to get my makeup, clothes and hijab just right. But I didn't feel I was compromising myself by wanting to make an impression. I was looking and feeling good on my own terms, and boy did that feel awesome.

Against the advice of her parents and some of her friends, Australian teen Amal has decided to wear the hijab, the Muslim headscarf, full-time. The story of her 11th-grade year chronicles her experiences with family, friends, classmates, neighbors, and total strangers as she comes to terms with her religious beliefs.

Amal's life isn't always focused on religion --rather, she lives much like other girls her age, worrying about grades, zits and peers pressure, constantly wonders about boys, friends, and curiously anticipates the future.

Be prepared to laugh out loud as Amal comments on her life, school, friends, and parents. Be prepared to love Amal and her family. And be prepared to learn about the life of one Muslim teenager who will provide insight into ladies all over the world who choose to wear the hijab.

The audiobook read by Rebecca Macauley provides an auditory "Aussie immersion" experience for the listener, and is highly recommended for readers and listeners ages 14 and up (especially girls).

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