At READ Little Muslims we’ve enlisted the help of an articulate young lady to review books targeted at her age group. It’s one thing reading reviews written by an adult, but it is always better to hear it from the target audience themselves. Please welcome Alaia Akbar who has started off with four book reviews below.
Alaia Akbar is an 11-year old Australian Muslim. She is an avid reader, she writes short stories, and balances her secular education with her memorisation of the Quran. She lives in Brisbane.
Muslim Teens in Pitfalls and Pranks
This Book was about Muslim immigrant teenagers living in a Western society facing all the challenges that people in a similar situation would usually go through.
The topic about dating portrayed through Ibrahim Karim’s dilemma with a non-muslim blond cheerleader is very relevant for Muslim immigrant adolescents. The message depicted in this particular part of the story is basically that no matter how tempting dating and relationships with the opposite gender might be it is not permitted. You must resist the temptation and realise that simple things for example touching or hugging is not as harmless as you may think. The author cleverly used this message and turned it into an enjoyable educational story, but that was not the only section of the book that stood out.
The problem with anti-muslim attacks on some of the characters is a very important segment of the book. It explains how the people terrorised the Muslims but cunningly it also displays why they did it and how this problem was resolved. Throughout the time this was ocurring the author illustrates how the Muslims were reacting to this problem.
The characters were all individually going through something and all of them were very enjoyable to read about. Personally think that this book was extremely clever with the story line and all the very educational messages portrayed through this book is very useful for any Muslim immigrant of this age. In addition, this book appeals to Muslim adolescents such as myself, and can inspire and help anyone if they are going through similar dilemmas in their lives.
The House of Ibn Kathir
This book was about a young boy going to a new boarding school. It starts off with him terrified and extremely shy, then going through many different events and finally going back home confident happy to come back.
One of the many things that were really good about this book is that every single event that occurred always had a moral that anyone could learn from. In addition, this book was filled with quotes from famous Sheikhs and Imams, and knowledge from the holy Quran. For example when Khalid stole the assignments and placed them in the tunnel he was caught and the sheik taught him a valuable lesson which all of us could use.
During the book it subtly showed how a good Muslim brother or sister should act and how they should interact with one and other. The characters were many but the author cleverly introduced them giving the audience enough time to adjust and keep track of all the characters. All of the characters were very different. However, even though each of them had very distinct characters and personalities, all of them got along and were very good friends.
I thought that explaining all the different classes and really introducing the audience to the normal day to day lifestyle that the characters had to go through was very good and it really indulged the reader making them feel like they were there. This allowed them to further understand the book and take in all of the knowledge. This book was very entertaining and educational; many things from this book are applicable to any Muslim who would benefit from it.
Lulu and the Very Big Meanies
This book was based on a character named Lulu who was going through a tough time in her life, with her parents wanting to move, two bullies out to get her and something mysterious buzzing in the woods out back. She doesn’t know how she will survive.
I thought this Book was very creative and that the author came up with many interesting dilemma’s that the main character has to go through. A good factor this book contains is that is shows how any normal Muslim girl should act towards anyone especially her parents.
It also has different Surah’s and duas that are included to teach younger people when to say it and what it means.
This book is appropriate for younger children from the ages of 5 to 9 because the morals and messages teach younger children about the Muslim etiquette. The book is an educational, entertaining book and can be very helpful when growing up and going through similar problems that you have to fix. The ending was very feel-good; all the characters in the end had learned their individual lessons and had fixed all the problems together.
Lulu and the monkey marriage
This book was the second part off Lulu’s life adventures. Again, many things are happening and Lulu has to use all the help she can get to solve all of these problems. After witnessing a getaway car driver in a bank robbery everyone thinks she is crazy because she saw a monkey in a tuxedo. The fair has also arrived along with two house guests and two weddings which are going to keep her extremely busy. On top of all of that her parents get sick and there is a man following them in a very strange car.
This book starts off with an introduction and a little bit of a reminder about the characters and the book then goes off to start introducing the problems that occur, such as the bank robbery and the two house guests.
The book builds tension for the audience while still keeping it not too bad or scary for the younger readers which was very skilful and much more enjoyable than it would have been if everything to do with the robberies was frightening. The ending tied all the end parts together and personally I found that the audience built up so much tension and it was so exciting that when the ending was revealed. It was very satisfying and gratifying.
Written by Alaia Akbar
(All the books mentioned above are available on Amazon. For more info on The House of Ibn Kathir, visit their webpage here. For more info on the other three books, visit Muslim Writer’s Publishing. READ Little Muslims)