A Place at the Table
Genre: MG chapter book
Age: I would suggest ages 12-15
price: 12 usd
It includes a lot of Islamic references. Prayer, fasting, and a lot of Muslim content. Sara’s Muslim life feels very real and the varied issues she faces are so relatable to today’s Muslim youth.
Note:@islamicschoollibrarianhas mentioned a slight LGBTQ reference to “an uncle and his husband”. I didn’t notice it when I read to be honest but I do want to be fully transparent.
The main Muslim character struggled with some aspects of her religion, (like not being allowed to celebrate Halloween) and while it is relatable, my concern is it might make Muslim kids more skeptical about these “issues” as being something “immigrant” parents do but as being old fashioned and not a legitimate religious decision some make.
Summary: Elizabeth is a daughter of a British mother and practices the Jewish faith. Sara is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants and practices the Muslim faith. The two girls are both struggling to get their mothers to take the US citizenship test and it doesn’t help that Elizabeth’s mother is depressed, or that Sara’s mother is financially stressed.
The girls connect at cooking club and become friends. They teach each other a lot, and grow from being friends with someone of a different background, and the book emphasizes that different backgrounds can come together in perfect harmony (like different ingredients in a wonderful recipe!)
Their beautiful friendship made me smile and I loved how they were both such dynamic and lovable characters. Both girls loved their backgrounds and their parents, even though they did have their internal identity struggles. I loved how their stories complemented each other and showed the universal qualities of love in all families❤️
This story EMPOWERS children of immigrants to be proud of their culture, and celebrates Interfaith friendships. It is a positive representation of Muslims in traditional publishing and includes many wonderful Desi references, including language, dress, and most importantly FOOD!😋
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