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Leora TanenbaumThe Next Best Young Adult Novel. Educational without being preachy, light without being flimsy. … Not only realistic, it's grounded in current events.
— The Huffington Post
A troubled teen sent to Cairo finds that revolution is everywhere—including in herself.
When her first party ends in jail, Mariam thinks things can't possibly get worse. But when her parents send her to her grandmother in Cairo, she is sure her life is over. Her Sittu is Darth Vader's evil sister, and ...
A troubled teen sent to Cairo finds that revolution is everywhere—including in herself.
When her first party ends in jail, Mariam thinks things can't possibly get worse. But when her parents send her to her grandmother in Cairo, she is sure her life is over. Her Sittu is Darth Vader's evil sister, and Miriam is convinced that the only sights she'll see in Egypt are the rooms in her grandmother's apartment.
It turns out her Sittu's not so bad. They ride camels by the pyramids and ice skate at a mall.
"Sometimes a moment can change your life," her Sittu says, but it can change the life of a country too. When a girl named Asmaa calls the people of Egypt to protest, Miriam finds herself in the middle of a revolution, running from tear gas and guns.
Oh yeah, and meeting the cutest guy she's ever seen. Falling in love for the first time. And having her first kiss.
Posted August 26, 2012
Beautiful and touching, one of the books that touched my heart
and left a spot there that will never be erased. I loved this book, it
is set in a time that was truly phenomenal and rebellious in the history
of the World. This review will be REALLY long, since I have a lot to
say, please stick with me. It's Mariam's second trip to the police
station, but this time she is arrested because she was in a party with
drugs and alcohol. It was her first party, but it looks like it's her
last, too. Mariam can't even begin to expect her parents punishment, but
to live the next 5 months of high school with her grandma in Egypt, talk
a jail sentence. Mariam doesn't even know how to be a Muslim. At least
there is a bright side to this, she gets to spend the 5 months with best
friend, Deanna, she is coming, too! Well, it looks like her
grandma, Sittu (Grandma in Arabic) isn't so bad. They get to climb one
of the pyramids and ride on a camel's back. There are even cute guys
here, like Hasan which Deanna seems to be head over heels in love with.
But the conditions in Egypt are not very good right now, the youth are
tweeting and posting about a rebellion and a demonstration. Suddenly,
Mariam is caught in the middle of a rebellion, that's not only in the
country, but also in ourselves. How will Mariam survive the guns
shots and the tear-gases? What will she learn from this trip? And will
she maybe, finally get the boy and her first kiss? Find out much more
when you read this touchy, superior-crafted, realistic read, Rebels by
Accident. I loved this book! Absolutely every part of it. This
story really hit the core of my heart since it was set in a true
setting. Me and my family spend months last year and even now, watching
the news, witnessing the rebellion in Tunisia, Egypt, Libia. How people
in those countries were finally done with their stupid, cruel unfair
regimes and brought down every so-called president. The rebellion
is still going in Syria and hundreds of people are killed and tortured
every day, just watch CNN or BBC. There was even a small rebellion in my
country, but the government managed to "shush" the people
quickly, by torturing them and killing dozens. It was horrible, and
heart-breaking, me and my parents prayed for those people to find their
place in Heaven and for this cruel regime to end. Another aspect of
this novel that I loved, is the development. When Mariam comes to Egypt,
she doesn't even know Arabic or anything for that matter.But the way she
learns is beautiful. They way Patricia Dunn, the author, makes readers
understand the nature of Muslims. Many Muslims are prejudiced all around
the world every day, people think that we are all like the gun-carrying
murderous assassins who call their massacre, "Islam". And we
are not all those pure, un-educated people who know nothing about the
world and the technology. We are all like you, our souls are not
the clothes we were, or the things we do. We are free here, females are
free to do whatever they do, there is no rituals or rules that we need
to stick to. Even if we wear cloaks or scarfs around our hair, we are
just the same as you. We all make this world they way it is, we ARE the
world. That's what Mariam learns trough this story. Nothing is
shallow or superficial in this novel. Every characters have their deep
levels and personalities. Deanne, Mariam's best friend is such an
open-minded, easy learner, she is just so courageous and lovely. Hasan
is the greatest guy you could meet. Sittu, Mariam's grandma is so wise
and touchy, she is really breath taking. Even Mohammad is one the most
courageous guys I have ever seen. Patricia Dunn has truly sewn this
story of pure silk; it is soft, beautiful and touchy. It really
portraits what was happening the Arab countries last year and even now,
she has built a realistic story that will stick with readers, young and
old, alike. If you want to open your eyes to the world, and keep your
mind wide open, but still enjoy a tale of self-discovery, then I am
pretty sure that this book will make it to your favorite reads of ALL TIME.
Posted August 24, 2012
The blurb seemed really interesting and caught my attention right away. So did the book itself. Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn is a very good YA novel; it is well written has very likable characters and touches important issues like coming of age, religion, family. It is easy to read and after you have turned the last page, you keep wanting more!
The book starts with 15-years old girl Mariam being arrested on a party, having a conversation with her best friend Deanna. You quickly find out, that Mariam is American of Egyptian origin who got to go to her first party secretly without her parents knowing about it. As a result of her actions, her parents decide to send her to Cairo, Egypt to learn how to behave properly as a young Muslim woman.
Mariam is mortified by her parents' decision and on her way to Cairo it seems that she hates everything about being a Muslim, being Egyptian, speaking Arabic language. It's her way to rebel against the school harassment and against her parents, she wants nothing to do with her heritage and religion, she just wants to be American.
As the story develops you find out, that Mariam's grandmother - Sittu - is not as bad as it sounded and Mariam and Sittu are quickly creating a very strong bond with each other. Besides that, she discovers, that Egypt is different of what she has imagined: parts of it are much better and parts of it are much worse. She finds new friends, a new country to care about and last, but not least, her roots.
The plot was fascinating, well created and quickly paced. The on thing which I missed though was better insight into the revolution in Egypt and its part in the plot. I do understand why the author did not emphasize it more and it is quite difficult to incorporate the revolution into YA novel, but I felt that this part of the book had a too sudden end to it. I wanted more! I was in Cairo few weeks after the revolution and I think that the author did a wonderful job to mirror, what happened with people and their country during the revolution.
I really liked Mariam! I think that is due to the way author described her. Mariam had her insecurities and doubts about who she is and in the beginning of the story she really struggled to be like others. When she travelled to Cairo, she started to grow into a young woman knowing what she wants and how she wants it. What is even more important she found her roots and dealt with the fact that she is American Muslim and this is how she wants to be.
Deanna, Mariam's best friend, was so lively and energetic, that it scared me! :) She could be severely annoying and stubborn like teenagers are, but she had a heart of gold. She was a sweet girl and I think her curiosity, enthusiasm and stubbornness leaded her into serious lessons she learned on the Tahrir Square.
My favorite character in the book was Mariam's grandmother - Sittu. I adored that woman! I was happy that she was not made into a stereotypical Muslim grandmother, who forced Mariam into her decisions, but that she was well-educated, smart, modern and I loved she had a Facebook account (which not many women especially in her age use in Egypt)! I think that the advices (sic!) what she gave to Mariam helped her to become to a strong minded young woman.
I highly recommend Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn!
Posted August 16, 2012
Rebels by Accident is fun and enlightening. Patricia Dunn engages
readers with a young Egyptian-American teen who struggles to accept
being Muslim and her Egyptian roots. Every page captures the essence of
a young girl who finds herself through hope and motivation. Mariam and
her best friend Deanna are sent to Cairo, Egypt as a form of punishment.
Turns out the trip not only straightens Mariam's attitude, but the time
spent with her wise sittu also helps Mariam come to terms with who she
is. Dunn gives Mariam's experience more than one outlet to inspire young
teens. Mariam's learning to stand up for what she believes in and
learning to believe in herself are just examples of the lessons that add
value to the novel. Deanna and Mariam can both be considered the main
protagonists of the novel, even though Deanna isn't Egyptian. Deanna's
passion for Egyptian culture coupled with the fact that she has
insecurities similar to Mariam's allows her to share the spotlight of
the story. But, at times Mariam's thoughts center around Deanna just a
little too much, and not enough on her own ideals and perspectives on
the culture she's reacquainting herself with. Rebels by Accident is all
in all an inspirational read that's not to be missed. Mariam's story is
one that will no doubt reach the hearts of all through its realness and
ability to relate to all readers. Originally posted on Lovey Dovey
Books *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
Posted August 14, 2012
I loved getting a unique view of what's going on in Egypt today through a teenager's eyes. Mariam is a great character, getting into trouble in the States and being sent to her grandmother in Egypt. My daughter (13 yrs old) loved it too and since she studied Egypt in school she really felt she knew more about present day Egypt. The writing is compelling. Hard to put down. Beautifully written.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.