When Amal makes the decision to wear the hijab full time, she knows that some people will support her–her friends from her old Muslim private school, for example, and even some close friends from her new Catholic school. But from everyone else, she is prepared for the worst: the stares, the ridicule, the assumptions that she is a terrorist or an oppressed woman forced into submission by an anti-feminist culture, etc. What she doesn’t anticipate is the sense of freedom, confidence, and identity that comes from wearing the hijab. As Amal continues to navigate the many stresses of high school–parental pressures, bullying at school, and a crush on a wonderful boy who may or may not share her affections–she learns more about herself, her personal and cultural identity, and the diverse cultural identities of her friends and neighbors.
Amal is a fun, snarky, and genuine narrator who realistically captures the common experiences of the typical teenage girl while also providing a window into a culture that may be unfamiliar to some readers. This book would be a tough sell for boys, but teen girls who enjoy realistic fiction should definitely check this one out!