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When Wings Expand Paperback – February 23, 2013
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"The story is one of kindness and healing, a good read for all, especially young adults, with its interesting plot and fluid storyline. Ms Sinclair’s years of teaching and storytelling experience shines through the fluent flow of text and her language."―Mitali Chakravarty, Kitaab.org
"[Nur] makes a strong role model for young readers who may grow spiritually by getting to know this 'ideal Muslim' figure close to their age."―Alt Muslimah
"I would recommend it for people of all ages. There’s something beautiful about reading a novel that’s fictional in nature but has great lessons and reminds you of Allah. It genuinely brought a smile to my face seeing ayahs of the Qur’an interwoven into the narrative. There are also a lot of beautiful metaphors and imagery about life in the book. It’s a novel about dealing with pain, grief and finding your path back to Allah but most importantly, it’s also a book about triumph!"―muslimgirljournal.com
"When Wings Expand is the type of story that requires the reader to put aside expectations of action and adventure, and to appreciate a softer, more subtle narrative. After all, not everyone’s lives are raucous and dramatic; sometimes, the most beautiful tales are ones of quiet sorrows and private joys."―thesalafifeminist
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I love that the book focuses on parent-child/family relationships and friendship... it's a great, wholesome alternative to all the junky young adult novels out there that are obsessed with romance/sex, violence, disrespecting authority, narcissism, etc... o yes, and vampires or zombies!
I highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially to any adolescent reader who needs some perspective after dealing with a loss in the family. While she is Muslim and mixed Turkish, the emotional development of the main character in the book would be relevant to any young person, regardless of their gender, religion, or ethnic background. I am really lookiing forward to reading more from this author in the future.
It is so full of beautiful lessons- something that readers of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from. It sort of brings you back home, on what it means to be a true Muslim and being a servant of Allah Almighty is all about.
The way the author wrote the book makes all of it feel so real. If you're feeling lost and are looking for a renovation in your perspective on life- do give this book a read.
Something I couldn't help thinking all the while was that- Allah SWT has truly blessed this author to be able to write something so beautiful like this and teach the beautiful message of Islam in this manner.
I hope Sister Maryam writes more books, especially for the older ages as I can't imagine how much more wonderful content she may come up with for that demographic as even with a book that may be seen as primarily centered for children and perhaps teens- she did such a wonderful job nonetheless that it is a piece all ages can come to benefit from.
MashaaAllah TabarakAllah La hawla wa la quwwata illah billah.
You can buy this book on Amazon.com- available in both hard copy and kindle formats.
This book was very different than I thought it would be so, for anyone deciding whether to buy it, here is what you can expect:
What this book is NOT: it's not just a teen book; anyone who is dealing with the loss of a loved one, or who is facing death themselves (as we all are), could benefit from the wisdom contained in it.
It's not a tear-jerker (although I did cry a few times).
It doesn't include a lot of details about dying from cancer. The journal starts in May '08 and Nur's mother dies in July. Nur keeps writing until the beginning of Sept but then gives up writing until 2 years after she started it. The second part covers the same months as the first part, May through Sept, but two years later in 2010. So, her mother's sickness and death span 2 months out of 8 total. And even those two months just don't have many medical details. It's not a nitty-gritty, reality book about dying of cancer.
It's not a 'something bad happened to you, so you can be bad' book. the characters do not use tragedy as an excuse for bad behavior.
It does not contain any foul language or outright disrespect or disobedience. Considering the state of modern 'literature' for almost all ages, this has to be said. For muslims, there is nothing in this book that a kid cannot read on their own.
What this book IS: a beautiful story filled with wisdom, and so real, so exactly true-to-life, that it was like I was reliving the days and nights when my husband died 2 months ago. The descriptions, thoughts, feelings, reactions, events are almost exactly as we experienced.
I would say this book is exemplary, which is what i look for in what my children read so that they may have something to live up to. And Nur is a wonderful character; if she were real I would like her to be my daughters' friend. (I have two girls around Nur's age.)
It is beautiful and comforting, yet challenging, in that it calls upon us to reexamine our thoughts about death.
It is inspired and inspiring, especially the parallel that the author draws between the death of the chrysalis and the awakening of the soul as its wings expand.
It is a quick read, finished in an hour or two, but I do plan on rereading it, maybe reading one entry per day, so that I can really absorb the messages.
The book is beautiful and well-bound on heavy paper. Our copy has been read 3 times and still looks brand new. The cover design shows the two worlds of Nur: Toronto and Istanbul, represented by little skylines in the bottom corners, and the two worlds of us all, the dunya and the akhira, the chrysalis and butterfly.
I'm grateful to have this type of literature available for my kids (and me!) to read. And i pray for success for the author and publisher so that they can produce more works for our benefit. And i pray that we don't just read it but do really use it for our benefit.
Beautiful, inside and out. A treasure.