I think everyone has heard about this book by now and how fabulously fun, real, and relevant Huda’s life is for so many. I am happy to jump on the praising bandwagon, as this teen/YA 192 page graphic novel really is a great OWN voice unapologetically Islamic mainstream tale. It does mention periods, relationships, hate crimes, and finding yourself, so probably 14 or 15 year olds and up. My middle school boys read it, so it isn’t that it is inappropriate, just the target audience is more teen girl. I know a lot of people, including Huda’s mom according to the inscription, have issues with the title, but I think it is brilliant. She takes ownership of her name and it isn’t just for shock value, the book is about figuring out who you are, how you feel about Islam, establishing your friend circle, and growing and learning along the way. My public library has it, as do major outlets, so what are you waiting for, go read, laugh, and feel seen.
Huda has just moved to a new school and she is no longer the only hijabi. She has moved to Dearborn, Michigan and there are A LOT of Muslims. She is no longer defined by the cloth on her head, she has to figure out who she is. Who she really is. And sometimes the best way to do that, is to figure out who you are not.
Huda tries different clubs, and different circles of friends, both at school and at the masjid. Along the way she learns how much she craves approval and who is always in her corner. When a kid at school is targeted for being Muslim, Huda will have to see how much internal hate she carries as well. Her clothes change, her outlook changes, she tries new things, and she grows, all while the laughs help the story bounce from one serious topic to the next without coming across as arrogant or stereotypical. This is Huda’s story and we are just along for the ride.
WHY I LIKE IT:
I love that there is nothing to critique, it reads autobiographical even if parts are exaggerated or only based loosely in reality. By being so real, and so well done, you are excited when you see yourself staring back, but you feel like you’re a friend learning about Huda even when you can’t relate exactly. Her comics online and her previous two books are all amazing, and I love that she is continually creating new material for us all to enjoy and benefit from.
She tells a boy she likes him that she doesn’t really like. Periods are referenced and blood and a pad are shown, not graphic and gross, but the sentiment is there. Discrimination is present, as is Islamophobia and stereotypes.
TOOLS FOR LEADING THE DISCUSSION:
Just keep the book out and around: it will be picked up, read, and mentioned, no tools needed.