While this can be categorized as Christian fiction, it is much more textured than novels commonly labeled as such.

A GIRL NAMED MISTER

Mary Rudine, known to everyone as Mister, is a typical high-school student, engaged in studies, sports and church.

Everything changes when she gives into sexual pressure from a new boy in her life. When she resists continuing a physical relationship, Trey breaks up with her, and Mister works to get back to an emotional even keel. One source of solace is a book of poems in the voice of the Virgin Mary. As she returns to normal, she is rocked with the realization that she is pregnant. “I know girls who have sex every day / and walk away. / Me, I break God’s law once, / and look what it gets me.” This novel in poetry looks clearly at both teen pregnancy and struggles with faith. Mister is exceptionally well characterized, as are her relationships with her mother and others in her life. The language is intimate and immediate. Mary’s story, which alternates with Mister's as Ishmael's did with a contemporary teen's in Dark Sons (2005), feels distant by comparison.

While this can be categorized as Christian fiction, it is much more textured than novels commonly labeled as such. (Fiction/poetry. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-310-72078-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Zondervan

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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A well-crafted plot with interesting revelations about living as a second-generation Muslim-American teen in today’s climate.

LOVE, HATE AND OTHER FILTERS

High school senior Maya Aziz works up the courage to tell her parents that she’s gotten into the film school of her dreams in New York City, but their expectations combined with anti-Muslim backlash from a terror attack threaten to derail her dream.

Maya, the only brown girl in her school with the only immigrant parents, loves parts of her Indian culture but blames everything she thinks she can’t have on her cultural constraints and on the fact that she’s different. Time is running out to break the news to her parents that her filmmaking is more than just a hobby. Meanwhile, two potential love interests command her attention. Her matchmaking parents like Kareem, an intriguing young Indian man Maya meets and dates, while Phil, a white classmate who’s been her longtime crush, remains a secret from her parents. Interspersed with Maya’s intimate first-person account are brief, cinematic interludes tracking a disturbed young man who commits a terror attack. First reports blame someone who shares Maya’s last name, and the backlash they suffer leads her parents to restrict Maya’s options. Maya is not especially religious, but she is forced to grapple with her Muslim identity as bullying takes a dangerous turn. Her feelings of entrapment within her parents’ dreams are laid on thick, and Maya herself notes a clichéd moment or two in her story, but the core relationships are authentic and memorable, and the conclusion is satisfying.

A well-crafted plot with interesting revelations about living as a second-generation Muslim-American teen in today’s climate. (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61695-847-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Soho Teen

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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A moving coming-of-age narrative about the viciousness of Islamophobia and the unwavering power of love in post–9/11 America.

A VERY LARGE EXPANSE OF SEA

After attending three different high schools, Shirin’s used to finding her way in new places.

Unlike her brother, Navid, she lies low, earbuds under her headscarf, ignoring all the racist comments thrown her way. Shirin doesn’t take all the bull of her white classmates and their racist ignorance. But two things make this new school different: break-dancing and Ocean, the white lab partner who seems to see beyond Iranian-American Shirin’s hijab. She can’t get Ocean off her mind: Although he annoys her with his constant questions and texts, which keep eating at her data limit, Ocean forces her to open up. She even takes him out to watch break-dance tournaments, the one diverse place in her life where she doesn’t feel alone in a crowd of whiteness. Shirin keeps waiting for Ocean to get bored or to realize that being with her could cost him his friends, his family, and potentially his basketball scholarship. But Ocean doesn’t seem to care about other people—what they think, how they act, or what they believe. Even so, their relationship threatens to upend the cultural norms of American suburbia. This gripping political romance takes readers into the life of a young Muslim woman trying to navigate high school with the entire world attacking her right to her body and her faith.

A moving coming-of-age narrative about the viciousness of Islamophobia and the unwavering power of love in post–9/11 America. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-286656-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2019

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