Happy Ramadan

For the next month, a few new students will be joining our usual "I'm avoiding lunch in the H.S. Cafeteria" crowd: Muslim students who are fasting for Ramadan find a food-smell and food-fight-free haven in the Library over their lunch hours. And, hopefully, a quieter, more contemplative setting... although I can't always guarantee that.

In honor of Ramadan, I'm thinking of books I've read recently by or about Muslims. I finished Deborah Rodriguez's non-fiction Kabul Beauty School. I enjoyed the peek at womens' social lives in Afghanistan. And how timely the topic is again, with recent news about the Afghani election, the Taliban's interference with it, women's difficulty getting to the polls, and controversy over the United States' role in that country!

Speaking of Afghanistan and controversy: if you enjoy it, you must read The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid. It's a fictionalized (and one-sided) conversation with a young Afghani man who was educated at Princeton, found a lucrative job and beautiful girlfriend in the United States, and gave it all up over the way he was treated after 9/11. He returned to his home country, where he became even more radicalized. Even in Lahore, he couldn't escape involvement with Americans who distrusted him. A peek at men's social and political lives, and how history can affect them both.


  1. I loved Kabul Beauty School when I read it last summer. It's been a couple months since I last read a book dealing with Muslim culture. In late June, I read Beneath My Mother's Feet, which was very good. My brother in law is from Palestine, so I have a tendency to read a lot of books about Muslims and Middle Eastern culture.

  2. I tried to create a book display for the holiday, but all I found in my library were Kabul Beauty School (which is non-fiction) and Does My Head Look Big in This? I'll look for Beneath My Mother's Feet, and I'd love to know if you have any more suggestions for YA novels that deal with Muslim teens. Thanks, Amanda!