Magid Fasts for Ramadan

( 2 )

Overview

Magid, an eight-year-old Muslim boy who lives in Cairo, is determined to celebrate Ramadan by fasting even though his family feels that he is not yet old enough to fast. "The book is heavily illustrated with very nice watercolor art that expands the text. A brief introduction to Islam and a glossary are appended." -- Booklist

Magid, an eight-year-old Muslim boy in Cairo, is determined to celebrate Ramadan by fasting, despite the opposition of family members who feel ...

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Overview

Magid, an eight-year-old Muslim boy who lives in Cairo, is determined to celebrate Ramadan by fasting even though his family feels that he is not yet old enough to fast. "The book is heavily illustrated with very nice watercolor art that expands the text. A brief introduction to Islam and a glossary are appended." -- Booklist

Magid, an eight-year-old Muslim boy in Cairo, is determined to celebrate Ramadan by fasting, despite the opposition of family members who feel that he is not yet old enough to fast.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At a time when many Americans are becoming more aware of the Islamic faith, this book, which explores the Muslim tradition of fasting during the month of Ramadan, is most welcome. Magid, who is too young to fast, watches the other members of his family fasting and wishes to be a truly obedient Muslim too. Unbeknownst to his family, Magid promises Allah that he, too, will fast. His family discovers his fast, and while Magid is chastised for being dishonest, his religious desires are honored, as he is given a modified fast to follow. Excellent watercolor illustrations add to the charm of this book. An informative afterward about the Islamic faith, a glossary and a pronunciation guide make it a good tool for teaching children about Islam and the awakening of religious desires. Ages 5-10. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
It is the Muslim month of Ramadan. Eight-year old Magid's grandfather tells him he's not old enough to fast, but Magid has a will of his own, and fast he does, in secret. It turns out to considerably harder than he has anticipated, however, and he can't even admit to it because the adults would be sure to disapprove. Truth, of course, will out, with consequences that pull this family together in the ending to a gentle and informative book.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4An interesting look at an Egyptian Muslim family's celebration of Ramadan through the eyes of eight-year-old Magid. The boy wants to fast from sunrise to sunset, a tradition usually reserved for those 12 and older. Mama consents to his skipping breakfast but he secretly plans and executes day-long fasts until his older sister discovers his deception and tells their mother. Magid realizes through gentle reprimand and family discussion that an obedient Muslim is also a truthful one, yet he receives congratulations from his grandfather for his true fast of the heart. Lewis's watercolors blend well with the text and give readers an accurate sense of character, location, and cultural tradition as well as a skillful portrayal of emotional nuance through facial expressions and physical stances. The artist's utilization of Arabic border motifs at the chapter heads echoes patterns seen in tile mosaics of the region. This is a refreshing visit to a `90s Muslim family that accurately represents Islamic practice and the spiritual reasons behind it. This attractive title is a warm and welcome companion to Dianne MacMillan's Ramadan and Id Al-Fitr (Enslow, 1994), which presents information from a purely factual point of view. Magid is an amiable ambassador for his faith.Celia A. Huffman, Worthington Public Library, OH
Ilene Cooper
Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the U.S., but books about it, especially contemporary stories, are scarce. In this illustrated beginning chapter book, Magid, a boy of eight, wants to fast during the month of Ramadan like the rest of his family. So, unbeknownst to them, he throws away his lunch each day to keep his promise to Allah that he will fast. But fasting from sunrise to sundown is more difficult than it looks, and when his older sister tattles on him, Magid must deal with his feelings of relief and his shame for being relieved. The story is simple, but the thought processes Magid goes through and his up-and-down emotions are true to a child's inner life. It's not clear at first that this is set in modern-day Egypt, but that doesn't matter much. The book tackles some serious questions about what religion requires, while demonstrating a warm family life that will have universal appeal. The book is heavily illustrated with very nice watercolor art that expands the text. A brief introduction to Islam and a glossary are appended.
Horn
A fine offering that explores a holiday unfamiliar to many American children.
Kirkus Reviews
Magid, who is eight, wants to join the other members of his family in honoring Allah by fasting for the month of Ramadan. His parents insist he's too young. So Magid goes behind their backs, feeding his lunch to the geese and pouring his lemonade in the river. It works for a few days, until Aisha, his older sister, catches him, and tells his parents. Although he has been dishonest, his parents and grandfather recognize his desire to participate and allow Magid to fast for half of each day.

Set in contemporary Egypt and constructed, apparently, with the purpose of explaining Ramadan to non-Muslims, the book succeeds; a glossary extends the lesson. As a story, however, it is rather stiff, with explanations outweighing plot and character; the watercolors have the blandness of textbook fare. There's a shortage of books that explain Islam to children; this one has but limited usefulness.

From the Publisher

"Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the U.S., but books about it, especially contemporary stories, are scarce. In this illustrated beginning chapter book, Magid, a boy of eight, wants to fast during the month of Ramadan like the rest of the family. . . . The book tackles some serious questions about what religion requires, while demonstrating a warm family life that will have universal appeal. The book is heavily illustrated with very nice watercolor art that expands the text. A brief introduction to Islam and a glossary are appended." Booklist, ALA

"A fine offering that explores a holiday unfamiliar to many American children." Horn Book

"An interesting look at an Egyptian Muslim family's celebration of Ramadan through the eyes of eight-year-old Magid. . . . Lewis's watercolors blend well with the text and give readers an accurate sense of character, location, and cultural tradition as well as a skillful portrayal of emotional nuance through facial expressions and physical stances. . . . This is a refreshing visit to a '90s Muslim family that accurately represents Islamic practice and the spiritual reasons behind it. . . . Magid is an amiable ambassador for his faith." School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780606180443
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000

Meet the Author


E.B. Lewis's watercolor paintings appear in BIG BOY and many other picture books. The recipient of a Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration, he lives in Folsom, New Jersey.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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