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Does My Head Look Big In This?
Does My Head Look Big In This
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else. Can she handle the taunts of "towel head,"...  more »
Info icon
ISBN-13: 9780439922333
ISBN-10: 043992233X
Publication Date: 8/1/2008
Pages: 368
Edition: Reprint
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 8

3.8 stars, based on 8 ratings
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Does My Head Look Big In This? on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Abdel-Fattah handles serious issues faced by modern Muslims well, but bites off a bit more than she can chew. She tries to address too many problems, which makes the book drag a bit at times. A narrower focus would have been more effective, but this is still a good read overall. The main character is very likeable and will appeal to any teenage girl, Muslim or not. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about life as a Muslim presented in an engaging format.
dreabug3 avatar reviewed Does My Head Look Big In This? on
Helpful Score: 1
In a charmingly descriptive chain of thought, Australian-Palestinian Amal decides to wear the Muslim scarf, the hijab, after watching Rachel from Friends singing "Copacabana" in "a hideous bridesmaid's outfit at her ex's wedding". It's the kind of intuitive moment we've all had, and the fact that Amal hinges such a major life decision on it gives her immediate plausible humanity.

We've always wanted to know what it's really like, the life of the visible minorities. John Howard Griffin classic, "Black Like Me", where the other darkens his skin and travels through pre-civil rights America and Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed", where the author tries to live on minimum wage jobs are examples. Perhaps one of the strengths of "Does My Head" is that really not much does happen after Amal dons her hijab. This book does not deal with heady issues, nor does it take place in war torn Afghanistan. Amal's father and mother are wealthy professionals, she goes to a prestigious private school and her big problems are passing Australia's comp and getting caught passing notes in school.

The significance of this book is how the wearing of her hijab affects each one of her relationships, her relationship with her parents, with her traditional uncle and her aunt, with her nontraditional uncle and aunt, with her Muslim girlfriends, with her non Muslim girlfriends, with sympathetic school friends, with antagonistic ones, with school faculty, and even with casual strangers. The honesty of Amal's voice and the complexity of all these relationships is where the success of Randa Abdel-Fattah's story lies.
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GeniusJen avatar reviewed Does My Head Look Big In This? on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com

Let me start out by saying that DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? is a book that needed to be written, and one that needs to be read. It definitely fills a gap in young adult literature: it's a story about a normal Muslim girl in a non-Muslim country (Australia) who is not escaping oppression by a fundamentalist government/family or anything like that. Amal is just a normal teenage girl, albeit a Muslim one. She has crushes on boys, she likes to go shopping, she giggles with her friends, and she sometimes argues with her parents or feuds with classmates.

However, Amal's life is changed drastically when she makes a major decision: to wear the hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women. This would not be nearly such a big deal were she still at school with all of her friends who are also Muslim and some of whom wear the hijab full-time (meaning: whenever she is around men who are not relatives) as well. However, Amal has recently transferred to a very white-bread prep school, where the environment is completely different.

Amal is subjected to racism and discrimination by kids whose experience with Muslims has largely been confined to what they see in the media. The reactions she faces at home are not all positive, either, but Amal has made a choice. To her, it is a personal, religious decision, to show her devotion to God; it's not about being oppressed as some of her classmates seem to think, or making any sort of statement. Being a Muslim is a part of who Amal is, but in showing that, she faces things a lot worse than any evangelical Christian I know, and that's a sad commentary on our society.

All of that aside, Randa Abdel-Fattah's book is very well-written, and I loved Amal's voice. The characters in this book (particularly Amal) were great. DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? is actually a little reminiscent of the wonderful LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI by Melina Marchetta, and that's high praise, indeed! The main characters feel similarly different from their peers, are both Australian, and even have sort of similar voices.

This book is more than worth reading; it's a must-read!
reviewed Does My Head Look Big In This? on + 2 more book reviews
This book is awesome, funny and inspiring. Love it.
reviewed Does My Head Look Big In This? on + 5 more book reviews
A book girls around the world can relate to.
GeniusJen avatar reviewed Does My Head Look Big In This? on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com

Let me start out by saying that DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? is a book that needed to be written, and one that needs to be read. It definitely fills a gap in young adult literature: it's a story about a normal Muslim girl in a non-Muslim country (Australia) who is not escaping oppression by a fundamentalist government/family or anything like that. Amal is just a normal teenage girl, albeit a Muslim one. She has crushes on boys, she likes to go shopping, she giggles with her friends, and she sometimes argues with her parents or feuds with classmates.

However, Amal's life is changed drastically when she makes a major decision: to wear the hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women. This would not be nearly such a big deal were she still at school with all of her friends who are also Muslim and some of whom wear the hijab full-time (meaning: whenever she is around men who are not relatives) as well. However, Amal has recently transferred to a very white-bread prep school, where the environment is completely different.

Amal is subjected to racism and discrimination by kids whose experience with Muslims has largely been confined to what they see in the media. The reactions she faces at home are not all positive, either, but Amal has made a choice. To her, it is a personal, religious decision, to show her devotion to God; it's not about being oppressed as some of her classmates seem to think, or making any sort of statement. Being a Muslim is a part of who Amal is, but in showing that, she faces things a lot worse than any evangelical Christian I know, and that's a sad commentary on our society.

All of that aside, Randa Abdel-Fattah's book is very well-written, and I loved Amal's voice. The characters in this book (particularly Amal) were great. DOES MY HEAD LOOK BIG IN THIS? is actually a little reminiscent of the wonderful LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI by Melina Marchetta, and that's high praise, indeed! The main characters feel similarly different from their peers, are both Australian, and even have sort of similar voices.

This book is more than worth reading; it's a must-read!


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