“He didn’t feel Latino enough outside of Islamic School, yet he didn’t feel Muslim enough in school…”
Genre: Early Reader/Chapter Book
Available: @authorwendydiaz and my amazon page
I really loved this diverse Eid book!! It brings a new perspective to Muslim kid lit- one in which a Muslim kid is worried about fitting in among Muslims at an Islamic school, due to his different background/culture.
Omar’s class is assigned to write an essay about Ramadan and Eid traditions and as he listen to everyone talk about their yearly celebrations, he struggles and worries about his own. Everyone at his Islamic school is from a mostly Arab or Desi background and different from him, whose family is from Puerto Rico and Ecuador.
His teacher suggests a bubble chart to help and he asks his family what the plans are, and starts writing them down. While discussing foods, they discuss Eid Empanadas and their crescent shape and yummy taste especially excites Omar.
Omar writes his essay and presents to the class, and his mom shows up with some Empanadas! Everyone tries them…and loves them, to Omar’s relief!
I did like this story for the important points it brought up: that Muslims from other backgrounds might feel left out from the predominant Arab/desi traditions that seem to stand for Ramadan and Eid. Even in diverse books and diverse dolls, representation is often limited to one culture being repped. While this is not completely wrong, it can make other Muslims feel left out. It is important to recognize that there are Muslims of many different backgrounds, and I love that in the end Omar’s family is invited to all the Iftars (another imp issue the book raises).
I loved the adorable pictures, the font and clear Middle grade way of writing, the attractive cover, and especially the Spanish words trickled throughout. It made it so authentic and real! The end contains a recipe and a glossary of words. I do think it could have used more editing, but I enjoyed it as a whole.
Def check this book out!
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