From Somalia with Love

Overview


Safia Dirie is a teenage girl living in East London with her mother, Hoyo, and two older brothers, Ahmed and Abdullahi. Though she was born in Somalia, she doesn’t really remember it — Safia’s a London girl, through and through. But now, after 12 long years, her father, Abo, has returned to the family from war-torn Mogadishu. Safia knew things would change, but nothing could have prepared her for the reality of dealing with Abo’s cultural expectations. Or that Ahmed, her favorite brother, would start to run ...
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From Somalia with Love

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Overview


Safia Dirie is a teenage girl living in East London with her mother, Hoyo, and two older brothers, Ahmed and Abdullahi. Though she was born in Somalia, she doesn’t really remember it — Safia’s a London girl, through and through. But now, after 12 long years, her father, Abo, has returned to the family from war-torn Mogadishu. Safia knew things would change, but nothing could have prepared her for the reality of dealing with Abo’s cultural expectations. Or that Ahmed, her favorite brother, would start to run wild. And she herself certainly didn’t expect to find her cousin Firdous’ party-girl lifestyle so tempting. Safia must come to terms with who she is — as a Muslim, as a teenager, as a poet, as a friend, but most of all, as a daughter to a father she’s never known. Rooted in Somali and Muslim life, this poignant and beautifully written novel about one girl’s quest to find her own place in the world strikes a chord with young readers everywhere.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up–Safia has grown up believing her father died in the fighting in Somalia. When she finds out that he is alive and on his way to London to join the family, she is apprehensive about the difference his presence will make in her life. Though she is comfortable with her identity as a Muslim, she struggles with how her values differ from those of her rebellious brother and cousin. Her father is not prepared for his family’s hybrid British-Somali culture, which causes a great deal of conflict. Safia must learn to cope with the new dynamics in her home and learn to love a father she has never known. At times, the author’s intent of creating a window into Somali culture and the immigrant experience is a bit heavy-handed. The book does do a good job of showing the richness of Somali culture as something positive and separate from the war that has torn the country apart for decades. This is a unique title that will be popular in regions that have large Somali populations or where Randa Abdel-Fattah’s books are popular. A glossary of Arabic and Somali words and phrases is included, but it is unclear from which language each one comes.–Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Somalia is still in the news after years of civil war, and its war refugees go to many countries. Safia lives in London in a close-knit Somali neighborhood, where all her actions are seen. This is both safe and too confining for an adolescent in contemporary Britain. She practices Islam in a traditional way and has a good friend, Hamida, who shares her religion. Her extended family members are close, but she embraces the one young woman who has broken out of the family mold. Safia's poetic personality and her sense of isolation are found often in books for this age group, but her back story is thin. It opens with news about the father's impending arrival, but he always seems like a shadow, as does her older brother. Near the end of the novel, the family's situation-the father has remained for many years in Somalia while the mother and three children emigrated to London-is finally explained, but it is almost too late to have enough meaning for readers unfamiliar with such situations. But for readers willing to work, Safia is worth knowing. (glossary) (Fiction. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845078324
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,366,869
  • Age range: 10 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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