Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Garden of My Imaan

The Garden of My Imaan
by Farhana Zia
Peachtree, 2013.  230 pgs. Juvenile Fiction

Aliya is a young Muslim girl who knows from experience how intolerant the world can be toward those whose beliefs differ from their own. Especially in  post 9/11 USA. She finds herself hiding a great deal of her personal beliefs and her culture from the other kids at her school, afraid of how they will treat her if they find out. Then Marwa, another Muslim girl, moves into her school. Marwa is not afraid of showing others who she is and what she believes--something that causes all sorts of complications, not just for Marwa, but Aliya as well.

This is a gentle and beautifully written tale about learning to stand up for yourself. It is also about living what you believe, even when doing so can be tough. Aliya is a sympathetic and believable character who teaches readers that no matter what a person's beliefs, culture, or race--deep down we are all more alike than we realize.

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