Books by Randa Abdel-Fattah

THE LINES WE CROSS by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Released: May 9, 2017

"A meditation on a timely subject that never forgets to put its characters and their stories first. (Fiction. 12-17)"
An Afghani-Australian teen named Mina earns a scholarship to a prestigious private school and meets Michael, whose family opposes allowing Muslim refugees and immigrants into the country. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"Although she struggles in her efforts to resolve her managing ways, Lara's genuine kindness and compassion remain evident in this poignant sequel. (Fiction. 10-13)"
Seventh-grader Lara discovers just how difficult it can be to change established habits. Read full book review >
Released: July 17, 2012

"Abdel-Fattah demonstrates a savvy understanding of the middle school experience in this keenly observed tale. (Fiction. 10-13)"
Seventh-grader Lara Zany's reign as the self-appointed "Potts County Middle School official Friendship Matchmaker" is in peril. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2010

As she did in Does My Head Look Big in This? (2007) and Ten Things I Hate About Me (2009), Abdel-Fattah introduces a bright, articulate Muslim heroine coping with contemporary life, this time during the West Bank Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2004. After the Israelis confiscate and demolish their home, 13-year-old Hayaat and her Palestinian family endure curfews, checkpoints and concrete walls, exiled in a cramped apartment in Bethlehem. Hayaat's father silently mourns his lost olive groves, while her grandmother longs for the Jerusalem home her family abandoned in 1948. With her face scarred by shattered glass, Hayaat wears her own reminder of the occupation. Determined to retrieve some Jerusalem soil for her ailing grandmother, Hayaat and her Christian pal, Samy, secretly embark on a short but harrowing mission into forbidden territory. Hayaat chronicles this life-altering journey in the first-person, present tense, giving readers an intimate glimpse into the life of her warm, eccentric Muslim family, who survive despite the volatile political environment. A refreshing and hopeful teen perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma. (glossary of Arabic words) (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >
TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT ME by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

A 16-year-old Australian-Muslim-Lebanese teen wonders who she really is as she straddles two cultural realities. Since her mother died, Jamilah's overly protective Lebanese father imposes strict curbs on her social life while her hijab-wearing older sister is totally absorbed in political causes and her brother enjoys the freedom she's denied. Jamilah attends madrasa where she studies Arabic and plays the darabuka drums in a student band, but she leads a double life. Desperate to fit in at her high school, where she's known as Jamie, Jamilah dyes her hair blond, wears blue contact lenses, avoids getting close to anyone and is determined no one discover her true heritage. Longing to be respected for who she is, Jamilah knows "it takes guts to command that respect and deal with people's judgments." She recounts her travails in a chatty first-person, present-tense narration that's punctuated by transcripts of her e-mail conversations with a boy she knows only as John and whose friendship helps her find her way. Written with insight, humor and sensitivity, Abdel-Fattah introduces a winning Muslim-Australian heroine who discovers that "honesty is liberating." (Fiction. 12-16)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2007

An "Australian-Muslin-Palestinian" teen opts to wear the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, full-time, embarking on a courageous exercise in self-understanding. Sixteen-year-old Amal attends an elite prep school in a Melbourne suburb. Poised to begin the third term of 11th grade, Amal admits, "it's hard enough being an Arab Muslim at a new school," but "shawling up is just plain psychotic." Determined to prove she's strong enough to "wear a badge of my faith," Amal faces ostracism and ridicule as she dons her hijab with both good humor and trepidation. Supported by her parents, Amal spurns racial epithets like "towel head" and discovers her friends still accept her for who she is, not what she wears. As the term progresses, Amal's friends face their own issues of self-worth while her faith is tested when she falls in love with a non-Muslim classmate. Wearing the hijab full-time shuts some doors, but opens others for Amal as she emerges a bright, articulate heroine true to herself and her faith. Abdel-Fattah's fine first novel offers a world of insight to post-9/11 readers. (Fiction. 13-18)Read full book review >