NA'IMA B ROBERT is descended from Scottish Highlanders on her father's side and the Zulu people on her mother's side. She was born in Leeds, grew up in Zimbabwe and went to university in London. At high school, her loves included performing arts, public speaking and writing stories that shocked her teachers! She has written several multicultural books for children and is the author of 'From Somalia, with love', a novel for young adults. 'Boy vs Girl' is her second books for teens. She divides her time between London and Cairo and dreams of living on a farm with her own horses. Until then, she is happy to be a mum to her four children and keep reading and writing books that take her to a different world each time. To find out more about Na'ima B Robert click here
Here's the thing that makes Boy Vs Girl such a stand-out: It's a coming of age story with a backdrop of faith that might be written for Muslim teens or might be written for me, a person of another faith who appreciates a good story. It works either way which is no small feat. The writing is clear and accessible even though it delves into complicated, but universal, issues. This means Robert's work will appeal to a braod age-range and demographic. therockpool.wordpress.com You can tell that the author has put so much of her heart into the novel and her characters. Their dialogue and language rings true, as does the way they act around eachother and towards their friends and family. This unexpected little book is a true gem and I hope it gets a wide audience. www.myfavouritebooks.blogspot.com Written in a light, non-patronising tone and using down-to-earth language, the twins' story, with their differences, similarities, problems and beliefs unfolds. The book is easy to follw with a snappy to-the-point plot, but makes many subtle points that hit home. Don't be fooled into thinking these are rose-tinted taoes about girls who can't match their headscarves to their henna; these books feature realistic characters dealing with issue relevant to youth - Muslim and non-Muslim - today. www.campusalam.org Gives an interesting insight into a culture that some readers might be quite unfamiliar with... And you probably won't see the ending coming... Armadillo Magazine This book confronts some challenging issues and offers a relevant read for anyone interested in the tensions which play themselves out within families and between cultures. School Librarian Very accessible for teens who want to understand more about Muslim culture, with a handy glossary of Asian and Arabic words and phrases at the back of the book. But the heart of the story s the unbreakable and close bond between brother and sister and how, despite their different journeys, they draw on their shared love and courage to do the right thing. Eastern Eye I found myself admiring and respecting the ambition of this novel, caught up in the characters and their journeys, caring how things turned out for them; and very much wanting to know what Muslim readers would make of it. Books for Keeps
Gr 9 Up-Twins Farhana and Faraz Ahmed are of Pakistani descent, but they have lived in Britain all their lives. As Ramadan approaches, they are dealing with conflicts between their parents' traditional expectations and the numerous temptations that surround them in their urban neighborhood. Outgoing, outspoken Farhana struggles with her decision to wear the hijab and her attraction to a boy who is romantically interested in her, a relationship that is not acceptable in her household, while her shy, artistic brother has become involved with an Asian street gang and drugdealing and must find a way out. The fast-paced plot plays out as sister and brother both try to resolve their issues and stay true to their faith. The book occasionally becomes heavyhanded or pedantic in its defense of Islam and the wearing of the hijab, but it shines when exploring the role of women and questions of Muslim identity vs. Pakistani cultural identity. A short glossary of Arabic and Urdu words is included. This title would appeal to teens who enjoyed Randa Abdel-Fattah's Does My Head Look Big in This? (2007) and Ten Things I Hate About Me (2009, both Scholastic), and it is a must purchase in areas serving a Pakistani immigrant population.-Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.