Maria Trejo. Title: Does My Head Look Big i n This? Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah Publisher:Pan Macmillian Australia Publishing Date: 2005. Introduction.
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Title: Does My Head Look Big in This?
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Publishing Date: 2005
Amal Mohamed Nasrullah Abdel-Hakim has made the greatest decision of her life; she has decided to wear the hijab. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Amal must face the prejudice and stereotypes that come along with being a Palestinian-Muslim. Her friends and family stand by her despite of having their own problems. Amal’s strength and courage proves that her faith can overcome any obstacle.
Amal Mohamed Nasrullah Abdel-Hakim is the main protagonist of the story. She is a sixteen year old Australian girl of Palestinian-Muslim descendency.Amal goes to McCleans Preparatory School where she is teased by a popular girl named Tia. Amal is religious and decides on wearing the hijab to show her responsibility and courage after being inspired by an episode of Friends.Amal has a crush on her friend Adam Keane, but she follows her religion and doesn’t date or kiss him. Amal is a loyal friend and sticks up for her friends.
Tia Tamos is the antagonist. She is a bully and enjoys teasing Amal and her friends. She teases on Eileen for being Asian, Simone for being slightly overweight and Amal for being Muslim. Tia is very beautiful, however she is incapable of being nice and is conceited. Tia is racist and picks on anybody that’s unattractive, different ,or people of other ethnicities.
Problem:Amal has to face stereotypes and racism in a time after the 9/11 attack on the world trade center. She risks being ostracized for wearing the Hijab. Amal has to go through all the teasing at her school and prejudice out of school. Amal must see how strong her faith is.
Solution: Amal’s friends give her strength and encourage her to be who she wants to be without worrying about what others think.
Leila is one of Amal's best friend. She is a seventeen year old Turkish Muslim girl with a strict mother who believes Leila should marry instead of chasing her dreams of becoming a lawyer. Leila, fed up with her mother’s attempts to arrange a marriage for her, runs away and sleeps in a woman's shelter. In an attempt to get Leila to come back home, her mother stops trying to arrange marriages. Leila wears the hijab and she has a rebellious, non-religious brother named Hakan.
Yasmeen is another of Amal’s best friends. Yasmeen is sixteen and of Pakistani and British descendancy. Yasmeen does not wear the hijab and is the least religious out of Leila and Amal.
Simone is one of Amal’s best friends at McCleans Preparatory School. She’s a sixteen year old Australian who’s mother forces her to lose weight. Simone is obsessed with diets and starts smoking as a way to ease her cravings. Simone has a low self-esteem and is the most affected by Tia’s rude remarks. She stops smoking after her crush, Josh Goldberg, tells her that she’s beautiful the way she is and doesn’t need to lose weight.
Eileen is sixteen and she’s Japanese. Eileen gets picked on by Tia for being Japanese. She has no romantic interests and constantly teases Simone for liking Josh and Amal for liking Adam. Eileen tried to defend Amal from Tia.
Adam is Amal'scrush and is also her friend. His mother ran away when he was seven. He lives with his dad and his dad’s girlfriend,Charlene. Amaland Adam became great friends and began flirting leading Adam to believe she wanted a relationship with him. Adam attempted to kiss Amal at a party, but Amal rejected his kiss, choosing her religion over physical intimacy. Adam became mad and ended his friendship with Amal, however their friendship resumed.
Josh Goldberg is Amal's friend at McClean's and he has a crush on Simone. He is Jewish and supports Amalthe most when she starts wearing the hijab. He begins a relationship with Simone near the end of the book. Josh helps Simone quit smoking and he helps her overcome her self-image issues. Josh’s best friend is Adam Keane
This book opened my eyes to the way people that are different are treated unfairly by society. It also showed me the practices and believes of a religion I am not familiar with. Amal’s strength and loyalty is truly inspiring. Amal and her friends, despite being different from each other, show what a true friendship is like. Each one has a story of their own that teens should be able to relate to. I really recommend Does My Head Look Big in This?