Winner in the Australian Book Industry Awards 2006 - Australian Book of the Year for Older Children.
The slide opened and I heard a gentle, kind voice: What is your confession, my child? I was stuffed. The priest would declare me a heretic; my parents would call me a traitor.... The Priest asked me again: What is your confession, my child? I'm Muslim. I whispered.
Welcome to my world. I'm Amal Abdel-Hakim, a 17 year-old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still trying to come to grips with my various identity hyphens.
It's hard enough being cool as a teenager when being one issue behind the latest Cosmo is enough to disqualify you from the in-group. Try wearing a veil on your head and practicing the bum's up position at lunchtime and you know you're in for a tough time at school.
Luckily my friends support me, although they've got a few troubles of their own. Simone, blonde, gorgeous and overweight - she's got serious image issues, and Leila's really intelligent but her parents are more interested in her getting a marriage certificate than her high school certificate!
And I thought I had problems.
In Does My Head Look Big In This?, Randa Abdel-Fattah, an Australian-born Muslim writer, has produced a poignant novel about faith and culture clashes.
Voiced with cheeky humor by Rebecca Macauley, Abdel-Fattah's novel deals with what happens when 16-year-old Amal decides to wear a head scarf full time. She must deal with reactions from friends and family and taunts from intolerant strangers. Meanwhile, she develops a crush on the cutest boy at school.
Performing the work in a conversational tone and brash Australian accent, Macauley wrings out the right amount of pathos and self-deprecating humor from this poignant novel.
"This is a superb first novel with clever, entertaining dialogue, language and characters." (Good Reading magazine)
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