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Flying Over Water

Updated: May 13, 2022

Genre: Middle Grade⠀

Ages: 8-12⠀

Available: Amazon⠀

Wow! What an amazingly beautiful book cowritten by one of my absolute favorite authors: @nhasnatsenzai ❤️⠀

It is 2017 and President Trump has tried to implement the Muslim ban. Emotions are high in America as protests both for and against immigration erupt across the nation. ⠀

Noura is a twelve year old refugee from Aleppo, Syria who has just arrived in Tampa, Florida. She is super scared of water and struggles with panic attacks due to the stress of her best friend drowning on the way to Greece. She wears a hijab and practices her Islam publicly, but faces prejudice (like an embarrassing foot in sink during wudu scene and a prayer scene in the library).⠀

Jordyn is a competitive swimmer, but when her mother miscarries during one swim meet, she starts having panic attacks near the water. Her mother gets depressed, and when their Church encourages them to help Syrian refugees, her mother’s volunteer work helps her heal and make a new friend in Noura’s mother.⠀

The two girls become good friends and they learn to help each other overcome their panic attacks.⠀

I love how Noura is shown as a proactive young Muslim girl proud of her religion and brave in her own right. She establishes a prayer room at school and offers a speech in support of practicing her religion freely.⠀

I liked how the book displayed current politics and introduced them in a compassionate and gentle way to middle grade readers. Other issues such as Black Lives Matter, taking care of the environment, anti-semitism, and white supremacy are discussed in the book, and the book works as a whole to dismantle prejudice and stereotypes, especially towards Muslims and refugees.⠀

I loved how even though the story featured the reality of war and loss and struggle, it also focused on hope and friendship and second chances! It was a bright story full of positivity and teaches children the idea of standing up for the rights of others!⠀

I absolutely loved this book and all the Islamic and Syrian references in it! So many parts made me smile and I definitely recommend it!!


price: 12 usd

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