by Rukhsana Khan
Groundwood Books, 2009
ISBN 978-0-88899-862-0 (pb)
ISBN 978-0-88899-858-3 (hc)
$12.95 (pb) / $17.95 (hc), 190 pp, ages 10 – 14
How would it feel to be a girl in a war-torn Islamic country? What would sustain you through violent social disruption and family losses? In Wanting Mor, Jameela tells a story both tragic and almost heroic of her journey from childhood into adolescence. The influence of culture and the Muslim religion are apparent in all her everyday decisions from responding to a stepmother’s orders to clean the pots to her need to cover her face. Readers will readily identify with her anxieties and share her joy when she finally experiences love and kindness. They may be surprised, however, by her values and attitudes, many of which differ noticeably from those typical of most western teenagers. Hers is a compelling, dramatic story. Based on an actual case in an Afghani orphanage, it has a persuasive authenticity and is likely to enrich appreciation and understanding of other cultures.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s September 2009 issue.