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Sadia
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Nominated for the Forest of Reading 2019 Red Maple Fiction award Sadia wishes life in high school was as straightforward as a game of basketball. Fifteen-year-old Sadia Ahmadi is passionate about one...
Nominated for the Forest of Reading 2019 Red Maple Fiction award Sadia wishes life in high school was as straightforward as a game of basketball. Fifteen-year-old Sadia Ahmadi is passionate about one...
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Description-

  • Nominated for the Forest of Reading 2019 Red Maple Fiction award
    Sadia wishes life in high school was as straightforward as a game of basketball.
    Fifteen-year-old Sadia Ahmadi is passionate about one thing: basketball. Her best friend Mariam, on the other hand, wants to get noticed by the popular crowd and has started de-jabbing, removing her hijab, at school every morning. Sadia's mom had warned her that navigating high school could be tricky. As much as she hates to admit it, her mom was right.
    When tryouts for an elite basketball team are announced, Sadia jumps at the opportunity. Her talent speaks for itself. Her head scarf, on the other hand, is a problem; especially when a discriminatory rule means she has to choose between removing her hijab and not playing. Mariam, Sadia's parents, and her teammates all have different opinions about what she should do. But it is Sadia who has to find the courage to stand up for herself and fight for what is right — on and off the court.

About the Author-

  • Colleen Nelson is a teacher and an award-winning YA author whose previous novels include Blood Brothers and Finding Hope. She lives in Winnipeg.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 11, 2017
    Fifteen-year-old Sadi Ahmadi, a Muslim immigrant from Syria, learns that young voices can still be powerful in Nelson’s story about being loyal to one’s beliefs. After living for three years in Winnipeg with her family (“We’d left Syria just before things went haywire”), Sadia is well-adjusted and happy, but she is constantly reminded that she’s an outsider, and her freshman year brings many challenges. Sadia’s best friend Nazreen, who is also Muslim, starts “de-jabbing” (removing her hijab) and changing into revealing clothes at school; the distance between the girls increases after they learn that they both have a crush on the same guy and Sadia befriends new student Amira, a refugee from Syria. Sadia is thrilled to make the basketball team, but she’s hindered by her hijab on the court, and she may not be able to play in an upcoming tournament if she doesn’t remove it. The characters can be somewhat one-dimensional, but Nelson (Blood Brothers) writes compellingly about Sadia’s passion for basketball, her evolving friendship with Nazreen, and the way that Amira forces her to confront the current state of affairs in Syria. Ages 12–up.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2018

    Gr 7 Up-Sadia Ahmadi's family moved from Syria (before the devastating military conflict began) to Canada after her father secured a teaching position at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. She's a good student, but her passion is basketball. When tryouts for a coed tournament team are announced, Sadia is intent on making the squad. She makes the team, but a discriminatory tournament rule banning head coverings could derail her hoop dreams. Basketball plays such a small role in this novel it could be swapped for almost any other hobby, which will be appreciated by readers eager for representation of female Muslim characters, but who have no particular interest in the sport. Sadia's life is not tidy. Her best friend, Nazreen, has started de-jabbing (removing her hijab) at school, which causes the girls to drift apart. Sadia is tasked with translating for and acclimating a new student, Syrian refugee Amira, who is haunted by her traumatic past. Also, Sadia's beloved brother, at university studying to be a doctor, makes a controversial decision and hides it from their parents, inadvertently dragging Sadia into the drama. Prejudice and discrimination show up, but the support of Sadia's teacher/coach Mr. Letner, her teammates, her classmates, and her family makes the handling of the tough stuff relatively tame. Overall, this work makes attempts at inclusivity while gently skirting serious issues with simple, unembellished prose. VERDICT An additional purchase.-Abby Bussen, Muskego Public Library, WI

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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