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From Somalia with Love Hardcover – December 28, 2008
The 10 Most Valuable Children’s Books and Affordable Alternatives
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up–Safia has grown up believing her father died in the fighting in Somalia. When she finds out that he is alive and on his way to London to join the family, she is apprehensive about the difference his presence will make in her life. Though she is comfortable with her identity as a Muslim, she struggles with how her values differ from those of her rebellious brother and cousin. Her father is not prepared for his family's hybrid British-Somali culture, which causes a great deal of conflict. Safia must learn to cope with the new dynamics in her home and learn to love a father she has never known. At times, the author's intent of creating a window into Somali culture and the immigrant experience is a bit heavy-handed. The book does do a good job of showing the richness of Somali culture as something positive and separate from the war that has torn the country apart for decades. This is a unique title that will be popular in regions that have large Somali populations or where Randa Abdel-Fattah's books are popular. A glossary of Arabic and Somali words and phrases is included, but it is unclear from which language each one comes.–Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
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What will hold readers most are the elemental questions about the meaning of home. --Booklist
Encourages Muslim teens living in Western societies to be proud of their differences and to embrace Islam as part of their individuality, and through Safia's story, readers will come to see Islam not just as a set of practices but instead as a way of life. --Muslim Voices
This book will engage teenagers of all cultures. The author, Na'ima B. Robert, succeeds in maintaining the suspense about which pathway Safia will choose and gives a valuable insight into the family-centric Somalian culture. Safia is an engaging heroine with whom girls will identify. This is an excellent debut novel which should become a firm favorite. -- Ink Pellet
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