Novels for Muslim teenagers to help them strive in Western Culture
Are You aware that there are many Novels written for the Muslim teenagers? In this generation children can be easily lured by the Western Media and by the wrong advises of their Immature friends..Our Children face two different cultures -One is the Islamic Culture we teach at home and the Other is the Western culture they absorb from the World.As a Parent we cannot discuss each and everything with our child .So Many stuffs happen in School and College which our children can share only with their friends.As the friends they seek for advice are themselves Immature,they cannot really solve the Problem .In Such Scenario let us Introduce them with the Children who face similar struggle in their life and how they overcome them without compromising their Culture.Here are a list of Novels which are worth considering.I have Included a Review of each Book.Happy Reading !
The American Muslim Teenager’s Handbook
How do you reconcile being a teenager in America with being a Muslim? It’s not as difficult as you think! The American Muslim Teenager’s Handbook is a positive, fun, informative guide to being a Muslim teenager in America today. Covering everything from basic Islamic history and reading the Quran to drinking and dating, and filled with thoughts and opinions from Muslim teenagers across the country, this is an indispensable primer, for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to learning about and finding one’s place in American Islamic culture.
Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court
From a childhood made difficult by racism and prejudice to a record-smashing career on the basketball court as an adult, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s life was packed with “coaches” who taught him right from wrong and led him on the path to greatness. His parents, coaches Jack Donahue and John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, and many others played important roles in Abdul-Jabbar’s life and sparked him to become an activist for social change and advancement. The inspiration from those around him, and his drive to find his own path in life, are highlighted in this personal and awe-inspiriting journey.
Written especially for young readers, Becoming Kareem chronicles how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar become the icon and legend he is today, both on and off the court.
Laughing All the Way to the Mosque: The Misadventures of a Muslim Woman
Being a practicing Muslim in the West is sometimes challenging, sometimes rewarding and sometimes downright absurd. How do you explain why Eid never falls on the same date each year; why it is that Halal butchers also sell teapots and alarm clocks; how do you make clear to the plumber that it’s essential the toilet is installed within sitting-arm’s reach of the tap?
Zarqa Nawaz has seen and done it all.
So, If you’re looking for a light version of “A Muslim teenager”, search no more but read “laughing all the way to the mosque” by Zarqa Nawaz. The book is a wonderful and honest collection of the author’s experiences as a muslim woman in the Western society. While introducing and explaining muslim rituals and habits such as buying alarm clocks at the halal butchers, cooking huge meals for Eid or getting stepped on while circling the Kaaba in Mecca, she also reveals how her culture and religion clashes with the society she lives in and how she is torn between the two, which leads to hilarious situations that just make you laugh out loud.
Words in the Dust
Born with a cleft lip, Zulaikha struggles to feel worth in a society that values women by their marriage prospects: “What bride-price would Baba get for me? Maybe one Afghani?” Then, by chance, Zulaikha meets Meena, a former professor, who begins to teach her to read and write just as American soldiers arrive, bringing the chance for both more education and surgery to correct Zulaikha’s birth defect. Reedy based his debut on real people and places he encountered while serving with the National Guard in Afghanistan, and the extensive detail about Afghani customs gives the story the feel of a docu-novel while also creating a vivid sense of place and memorable characters. Reedy skillfully avoids tidy resolutions: the grim fate of Zulaikha’s sister, who is married to a much older man, offers a heartbreaking counterpoint to Zulaikha’s exciting new possibilities. A glossary of Dari phrases, an extensive author’s note, suggested-reading lists, and an introduction by Katherine Paterson complete this deeply moving view of a young girl caught between opportunity and tradition in contemporary .
Hearts We Lost
In this novel that spans the Atlantic, from Saudi Arabia to America, internationally acclaimed author of the If I Should Speak trilogy and the novel Realities of Submission shares with readers a heart-moving tale of faith, betrayal, and affection.
Sharif, the main character of this novel, after completing his undergraduate studies in America, is asked by family and friends to leave the comfort of the land he has known since childhood to study at a prestigious Islamic university in Riyadh. Haunted by the sudden death of his father who would have wanted this opportunity for his son, Sharif reluctantly agrees to the proposition and to assuming the position as imam over the small suburban Maryland masjid where his father once held the same post. After his six-year study abroad, Sharif returns to America changed in ways he cannot fully comprehend. Now doubting his engagement to his childhood friend, Sharif is confounded by questions of marriage and how he should practice the Islamic faith. As he searches for answers to spiritual perplexities and the deeper affairs of the heart, he finds guidance in a vision he sees while asleep, a vision that is made all the more perplexing when it manifests itself in real life. Navigating the enigmatic world of dreams and the mystery of the human soul, Hearts We Lost is by far the author’s most powerful novel to date, and the most unforgettable.
Author: Nai’ma B Robert
Pakistanis living in countries other than Muslim countries are faced with two different worlds- the one their parents were raised in that they are expected to follow with arranged marriages, no dating, drinking, smoking, or any other kind of imbibing and no partying of any kind, even if you don’t do any of those things. Then there is the real world. The one they face every day at school with their non-Muslim friends where they talk about what they did over the weekend and the boys or girls they are dating and other things that “good” Muslims don’t do. Here are a few phrases that describe what it is like at least for Farhana, ” …you are their daughter, a Pakistani girl, a Muslim. You are expected to stay chaste, away from all this teen romance nonsense.” (p.65) And “…parties were out of the question, staying over at friends’ houses was unthinkable.” (p.65) Then, “…how crazy was that? All around her, the messages were the complete opposite. The music, the videos, the movies, the teen magazines, were all full of the same thing: boys, boys, boys! It was like if you weren’t hooking up with some guy or the other, you were on of the last living freaks.” (p. 65-66). In reading Boy vs. Girl, it gave me a better appreciation for what a difficult world it is for anyone that doesn’t follow the normal societal code.
Farhana and Faraz are twins. Born minutes apart, they couldn’t be more different. Farhana is the good student, the popular one, president of her all-girl’s school debate team. Faraz is the quiet, artistic one, who struggles to fit in at the mixed gender comprehensive. But as Ramadan approaches, both Frahana and Faraz struggle with big issues that they feel they can’t share with their parents. Farhana wants to start wearing the hijab, but worries about the reaction she will face from her family, peers and society. Faraz is being pulled deeper and deeper into the life of the South Asian gangs, be forced to do things he doesn’t want.
If I Should Speak
Author :Umm Zakiyyah
If I Should Speak is the first novel from U.S. authorUmm Zakiyyah. The novel tells of three college students, their new friendship, and spiritual challenges faced by each young woman. Tamika, a Christian and a student of religion, has many questions for her Muslim roommates, Aminah and Dee. Her interest in Islam begins as academic curiosity, but to Tamika’s surprise and confusion, she finds herself drawn toward the faith. As Tamika explores, Aminah and Dee also ask themselves questions about what faith means in their own lives.
Aminah is a disciplined young woman, committed to practicing her religion to the best of her ability. In contrast, Dee, who has known Aminah since childhood, has moved away from many religious observances. Often Tamika looks from one woman to the other, trying to determine the best path to follow.
Through Tamika’s questions and Aminah’s explanations about Islam, readers can learn quite a bit about the basics of the faith. There are brief passages of Qur’an, with chapter and verse mentioned in the text or in footnotes. Their conversations are realistic, and readers unfamiliar with the faith may find many of their own questions answered. Occasionally the teaching element feels heavy-handed, but the novel provides a great way for readers to learn about Islam through fiction. This book would be a good addition to high school, college, and masjid libraries, and will appeal to parents seeking clean literature for their teens.
The author’s passion for sharing about Islam seems to shine through Aminah’s voice. We have fewer glimpses into the internal struggles of Dee; since we do not see her as deeply, I connected with her much less.
By the end of the novel, I wanted to know Aminah better, and to see the development of Tamika’s spiritual journey. Happily, her story continues in A Voiceand Footsteps. I look forward to exploring themes of faith and self-discovery in Umm Zakiyyah’s other writings.
Does My Head Look Big in This?
Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.
Can she handle the taunts of “towel head,” the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.
A Friendship Promise (Umm Zakiyyah aka Ruby Moore)
Author:Rooby Moore Aka Umm Jakiyyah
Maryam, the main character of this short novel, is the daughter of strict Pakistani-American parents who decide to bend their rules to help a divorced American convert to Islam, whose free-spirited daughter Samira is in need of Muslim friends. Maryam, along with her African-American friend Latifah, tries to find common ground with Samira, but when Samira convinces Maryam to disobey their parents, Maryam is worried they may have gone too far.
Though written for young adults, the story is sure to captivate readers of all ages; and, like the inspirational novels for which the author is worldly renowned, the story promises to stay with readers long after the book is closed.
Isabella A Girl of Muslim Spain
A classic tale about a young girl who finds Islam, and danger, amidst the harrowing religious conflicts of medieval Muslim Spain. Experience firsthand what life was like in the splendid Muslim city of Cordoba. See through the eyes of Isabella as she struggles with her father’s beliefs and finds that life is not always as easy as people think. Embark on a journey into history, into the heart, as you follow her path from darkness into light. Illustrated. Ages 10-16
It is a Story of three friends-Isabella,Maria and Rosa.They overhear two Muslim Men talking in a garden-A Sheikh and a Merchant.At first they had a Prejudice against the Muslims but when they hear the talk of these Muslim men discussing Christianity and Islam,It gets different.
The Reluctant Mullah
Musa, a mullah in training, has just been thrown out of the Madrasah of Islamic Britons for dressing up as a Muslim woman. Musa is sent home in disgrace, and it looks like an arranged marriage to his cousin Iram from his parent’s hometown in Pakistan is in his future – or is it? When Musa’s grandfather Dadaji visits from Pakistan, a pact is agreed:
‘There are thirty-three beads on this rosary. I give you one month of days in the pursuit of love. If by the end you have not found love, you will marry who I tell you to.’
Thus begins a novel which combines the best and worst of family in Musa’s search for a suitable bride. There are elements of comic romance, of the good and bad aspects of the expatriate Pakistani community, as well as of individual men and women searching for their own identity, some with guilty secrets and double lives. Many of the characters in this novel are struggling to balance what they want (or need) for themselves with their duty towards their families. Some of the best aspects of this novel involve the religious discussions in the men’s and women’s groups at the Islamic Centre. Here, members of each group debate the true meaning of passages from the Holy Quran. The debates have both light-hearted and serious elements, and give some sense of the wider themes that are part of a British Muslim identity.
‘United by faith and separated by perspective they cackled in unison.’
But how will Musa’s search for happiness end? Will he find the bride of his dreams, or will he be required to enter into an arranged marriage?
Towards the end, Musa realises that faith is no substitute for lived experience. As Dadaji tells him: ‘Reading the Holy Quran and learning the sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) does not make you wiser than anybody else’. ‘Wisdom is on the other side of pain, not on the other side of a page.’
Mornings in Jenin
This book is the story of Amal Abulheja and her family spanning 54 years. It starts in 1948 when the family is removed from their home in Ein Hod and forced to live as refugees in Jenin. It is a tragic tale of war and loss, yet is also a story of family bonding, love and dedication.
Amal goes through war and conflict between Palestine (Muslims) and Israel (Jewish). She is a strong proud woman, with tragedy following her. The vivid detail of war and terror is heart felt and grabbed me by the heart. It is difficult for one to imagine to live as refuges, with curfews and fear, bombs gunfire and death. The graphic detail of the treatment of the refuges, especially the children was heart wrenching. All the lives lost is saddening. This story left an impression.
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