Rating: 9/10⠀ ⠀ Age recommendation: boys/girls ages 8-13⠀ ⠀ Islamic screening: pretty clean, some mentions of Jinn ( if your child gets scared of Jinn), and some scary trials with blood, bones, and some fighting. ⠀ ⠀ Farah is a young 12 year old who recently moved from Queens to the Upper East Side in New York. She hasn’t seen her friends Essie and Alex in a long time, and so is scared about their distant relationship. Ahmad, her little 7 year old brother with ADHD, is constantly nagging her to play with him, and she has to deal with his antics (lovingly, even though she is exasperated) at her birthday party. When he uncovers a “gift” from their Aunt Zohra, she takes it from him to discover “The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand” which is a game similair to “Jumanji”. The game vibrates and Ahmad is sucked into it. Farah rushes to follow him in with her friends and she undergoes three tough and scary challenges in the game world (and then an extra fourth!). Farah and her friends each use their skills to solve the mysteries of Paheli (the world in the game), and Farah finally finds Ahmad and faces the Architect and his Jinn at the end. Read the book to find out the exciting conclusion.⠀ ⠀ The world-building in this book is fantastic-I genuinely enjoyed seeing the world in Paheli through the author’s eyes, and it was really exciting and well-written.⠀ ⠀ The story is absolutely action-packed and sure to please children of both genders that like adventures and exciting video games. The world of Paheli is also full of diverse references to Farah’s Bangladeshi culture, which was pretty cool. ⠀ ⠀ Farah’s loving older sister traits towards her brother are sweet, and her determination to save him is what drives the whole book forward. Her character is so wonderfully genuine and complex, and you can feel her “realness” and connect to her struggles. I would love to see this become a movie someday!⠀ ⠀ While no Islamic issues are expressly brought up in the book, Farah is a young Muslim girl proud of who she is and confident in herself.
price: 9 usd
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