This review was written together with my 8 year old daughter, who has read the book over and over because she liked it so much. She first heard about the book at an author talk, and later asked to buy it when coming across it at a school book sale. She is a prolific reader, and considers this her favorite book.
Amina’s Voice is a book for 8-12 year olds about a Muslim-American girl who just started 6th grade. Her best friend, a Korean immigrant, is soon to become a US Citizen, and is trying to figure out how to be “more American.”
Says the 8 year old: the book is good for people of different backgrounds and cultures because it proves that everyone can fit in without changing themselves.
The book brings to light some of the struggles that kids of different cultural backgrounds have fitting into their schools, and the conflicts they may have with their parents and families. Things such as different sounding names, foods, holidays, customs, and expectations all come to the surface for the two main characters.
The 8 year old says: the main characters overcome lots of problems and have lots of surprises. The ending is both sad and happy at the same time. Some of the book made me sad and some of it made me happy. I could sort of empathize with the characters because the characters and I have different cultures, but things were harder for the characters.
The book also has some “girl-drama” which, while not entirely central to the plot, does add an element of realism to the characters. Mostly it is a feel-good story that celebrates diversity and differences, and reminds us to follow our dreams, be ourselves, and be good friends and neighbors.
CBR10Bingo: Two Heads are Better than One