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Satoko and Nada

So impressed with these two books and can’t wait to get 3 and 4 iA!


Genre: graphic novel/comic

Ages: 15/16 and up

Available: Amazon


Screening: few pictures of bras/1 shown worn and brief mention of underwear. Alcohol drunk by a side character but not a Muslim. Weed mentioned. Arabic of a hadith wrong. There were a few wrong islamic statements that seemed cultural.


Nada and Satoko become roommates for college life in America. Satoko is from Japan and Nada is from Saudi Arabia. They learn so much from each other’s cultures and learn to love and respect each other, regardless of differences. Their humorous exchanges are also intuitive as they navigate being college students in America, teaching each other (and the reader) new recipes and words from Arabic and Japanese.


So much Islam! Nada explains a lot of Muslim practices to Satoko, and also acknowledges when there are things she doesn’t understand, but does by learning from her mother. She is proudly and authentically Muslim, completely true to herself, recognizing that there is stigma about her Saudi culture and Muslim faith, but not letting it stop her in practicing her religion or enjoying her culture!


Hijab/niqab is mentioned, ahadith, the Quran, wudu, gender rules, Alcohol not being drunk, halal food laws, saying MashaAllah/Bismillah, facing the Qiblah, hajj in Mecca, music rules, women going to Mosques, prayer continuously done, polygamy rules, and more!!


In regards to Saudi culture, it is mentioned that women were not driving until recent years, separation of schools by gender, restaurants being divided between families and men areas meaning women wouldn’t be in public spaces by themselves, arranged marriages, cinemas not being allowed until recent times, and the difference between men in saudi being onto sweets instead of alcohol. This is all done really well, as Nada acknowledges it might be different but she owns it and loves her culture and it truly is showcased as beautiful, even if it is something western readers might not be used to.


I enjoyed the way the book used humor and images to tell stories that teach acceptance and tolerance! Def a must have set of books and can’t wait for more!


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