Friday, July 2, 2010

Does My Head Look Big In This by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah is one of the most entertaining books I've read this year.  It starts with a simple premise: a young Muslim Palestinian-Australian high school student decides (while watching Friends) that she will begin wearing her hijab full-time.  And from there, Abdel-Fattah takes on all the trials and tribulations of high school: test prep stress, racism, dating, choosing not to date, weight, running away - even pimples.  And not only does she cast these disasters in the appropriate context of "this is the end of my world!" of teenage angst, but she makes it fun and engaging.  As a writer, I was particularly impressed by the delicate use of voice - it's a rich cast of characters, each one unique, and each one revealed with both humanity and interest.