A Party in Ramadan

A Party in Ramadan

4.5 2
by Asma Mobin-Uddin, MD, Laura Jacobsen
     
 

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A charming story of a young Muslim girl determined to do the right thing. In this Parents' Choice Award book, Ramadan is coming and Leena is excited. This will be the first year she will fast. Leena is too young to fast each day during the Muslim religious festival, so she decides to fast each Friday instead. Now Leena has a dilemma. She receives an invitation to a

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Overview

A charming story of a young Muslim girl determined to do the right thing. In this Parents' Choice Award book, Ramadan is coming and Leena is excited. This will be the first year she will fast. Leena is too young to fast each day during the Muslim religious festival, so she decides to fast each Friday instead. Now Leena has a dilemma. She receives an invitation to a party which happens to fall on Friday. Leena doesn't want to miss the party, but she doesn't want to miss fasting either. So Leena decides to go to the party, but not eat or drink. Later, she will join her family for the meal known as iftar, when the daily fast is broken. But when Leena, who is the only Muslim at the party, sees her friends enjoying fresh lemonade and chocolate cake, her stomach starts to growl and her head begins to hurt. Will she keep her Ramadan fast?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Leena's excitement over her invitation to her friend Julia's party is dampened when her mother reminds her that Ramadan begins that day. Leena wants to try to fast for that special day and go to iftar dinner that night to break her fast, but says she will not eat or drink at the party. When there, Leena is thrilled to ride a pony and have fun with her friends. But she begins to feel very hungry and thirsty, and falls asleep while the others enjoy refreshments. Back home, she is pleased to have made it through the long day. Together the family says their prayers and breaks their fast. Remembering how she felt earlier, Leena shares her special pudding with her younger sister. She has learned a lot from her day, and readers will come to understand their fasting friends better after reading her story. There is emotional warmth to Jacobsen's colored pastel and pencil scenes. The middle-class setting is clear, from the street and houses on the front end pages in daylight to the same site at night under the new moon at the end. The characters are naturalistically and affectionately portrayed, as is the sense of this important holiday. Notes add information about the holy month of Ramadan, and about the hijab or headscarf worn by Muslim girls and women. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 2-6

Leena Ahmad wants to fast during Ramadan, but Julia has invited her to a pony party. Torn between the two choices, she decides to do both. On the day of the big event, Leena proceeds to the swing while the girls enjoy lemonade, knowing that she can't take a drink, but she appeases herself with the thought of cool lemonade when she breaks her fast. It's only when the girls go inside to eat chocolate cake that she begins to question her decision. "Why did God have to make it so hard?" asks the child. Tired, hungry, and thirsty, she falls asleep on the couch and awakes in her own home. Soon it is time to open the fast, and Leena enjoys a rich variety of food with delicious cool lemonade. Julia's family and Amy's mom arrive bearing chocolate cake, and Mrs. Ahmad invites them to share the iftar dinner. This is a beautiful tale of a child grasping her identity yet being able to embrace the differences around her. The story also embodies the forging of community spirit. This is a perfect resource for teaching about choices, sharing, and empathy. Throughout the engaging story, readers are acquainted with Islamic practice. Jacobsen's skillful, gentle images show harmony in diversity.-Fawzia Gilani-Williams, An-Noor School Library, Windsor, Ontario

Kirkus Reviews
Mobin-Uddin and Jacobsen again explore a slice of the Muslim-American experience, focusing on the religious significance and customs during Ramadan (The Best Eid Ever, 2007). Leena's friend's birthday party falls on the first Friday of Ramadan. Although she is not required to fast like the adults in her family, Leena persuades her mother to allow her to both attend the party and abstain from food and drink. The hijab-clad girl resists temptations of lemonade and chocolate cake, diverting herself with activity, but succumbs to a nap toward party's end. At home, as Leena and her family happily prepare to break their fast, the neighbors stop by with leftover birthday cake. Although message-driven, this is a compassionate family story that functions beautifully as both mirror for Muslim-American children and window for their non-Muslim friends. The author's appealing, full-bleed pastels depict a sunny, middle-class community. A worthwhile addition to the still-too-sparse literature for children about Muslim-Americans. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-9)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590786048
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
04/28/2009
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,445,516
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Asma Mobin-Uddin of Pakistani descent, was born and raised in the United States. An active member of the Muslim American community, she is president of the Ohio chapter of a national Muslim advocacy organization. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Laura Jacobsen has illustrated a number of books, including My Brother Loved Snowflakes by Mary Bahr and Animal Mischief by Rob Jackson. She lives in the desert Southwest.

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