Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Ten Things I Hate About Me

Ten Things I Hate About MeTen Things I Hate About Me Randa Abdel-Fattah

Jamilah's dyed her hair blonde, wears colored contact lenses, and goes by Jamie at school. It's easier that way, if no one knows who she really is. Her school is full of racists and passing makes her life nicer--people see her instead of a Muslim stereotype. But she likes her Lebanese culture. She likes playing her darabuka drums in her band at Madrassa. Sadly, in hiding her heritage, she's hidden everything about herself. She thinks that people see the real her, but they see a girl with no self-esteem, a pushover.

I loved Jamilah's struggle with herself, her family, her friends at school and her friends at madrassa. I also really loved her family-- her activist sister, her slacker brother, her awesome aunt, and her father who is trying so hard to do the best he can as a single parent. (I especially loved her sister.)

It's a great book about self-acceptance against the odds. While I loved the look into Lebanese-Australian culture, I think Jamilah's struggles with defining and presenting herself are universal teen struggles.

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