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Asmaa Andalusi: A Girl Like No Other

Okay, so before I write this review, I am going to give a disclaimer. I did not finish this chapter book.

I tried, and I got to page 30 (out of 119 pages) and I put it down.⠀

So I will just state my problems and include an excerpt to show my reasoning.⠀

And as always- this is my honest opinion and no one is obligated to agree! ⠀

First: This chapter book is just put together in a strange way that I couldn’t understand it. I got to chapter 5 and “Assmaa” was still introducing herself (why anyone thought the spelling of this beautiful name like this was a good idea is beyond me).

A skim of the rest of the chapters show her still narrating random stories. This is definitely not in typical chapter book format, and there seemed to be no outline that the book followed.⠀

Second: the lack of flowing English grammar and syntax really made it hard to read.⠀

Third: the author is literally telling a story, not showing it happen, and it reads forced. ⠀

Fourth: the story itself and the scenes are not realistic to children, but seem from some imagined childhood where everyone is perfect. They also are not special or unique, and could literally be anyone. What makes her “unlike any other”?⠀

Fifth: Even islamically, there were so many points I just cringed and was not sure about their validity, and it just felt really preachy and written by an adult pretending to be a child rather than an inside look at a child’s mind.⠀

I just didn’t feel like this book is appropriate for the marketed age group of 8 to 12 year olds. It talks down to kids and it just wasn’t engaging enough.⠀

I genuinely hope that Islamic publishing gets better. We need better books for our kids. Ones that are well written and with both Islamic accuracy, as well as good English writing skill.⠀

If anyone reads this, I would love your thoughts!

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