Lines We Cross
by Abdel-Fattah, Randa






A story about the power of choosing tolerance by the award-winning author of Does My Head Look Big in This? finds basketball enthusiast Michael attending anti-immigration rallies with his parents until a friendship with a Muslim refugee newcomer from Afghanistan compels him to question his family's politics. Simultaneous eBook.





Randa Abdel-Fattah is an award-winning author, former attorney, and an expert on Islamaphobia in Australia. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Does My Head Look Big In This? and Ten Things I Hate About Me, as well as the middle-grade novel Where the Streets Had a Name. Ms. Abdel-Fattah lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and their children.





*Starred Review* Acclaimed author and Islamophobia expert Abdel-Fattah pens another timely story. As a child, Mina came to Australia by boat, a Muslim refugee escaping turmoil in her native Afghanistan. Now, as a teen, she enters an elite preparatory school on the other side of Sydney, on scholarship. Michael, a natural-born Australian citizen, hasn't spent too much time second-guessing his parents' involvement in a local anti-immigrant group, until he sees Mina, and his unquestioning trust in his parents begins to fray. Told in chapters alternating between Mina and Michael, this mature, nuanced novel explores the forces that feed anti-immigrant sentiment and the hypocrisy that festers in hateful beliefs. There are no easy answers here, and, indeed, several uncomfortable moments as Michael resists his parents' deeply held beliefs. Though a novel like this could easily become didactic, Abdel-Fattah expertly sidesteps heavy-handed lessons, instead deeply rooting the story in the experiences of these two teenagers, rendering their story, encompassing romance, a testament to friendship, and a powerful call to action, in utterly real and sympathetic terms. Though the setting is Australia, readers will find direct parallels to current situations in the U.S., and given the fallout of the 2016 election, this book could not be more necessary. Deserving of wide readership and discussion. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.





An Afghani-Australian teen named Mina earns a scholarship to a prestigious private school and meets Michael, whose family opposes allowing Muslim refugees and immigrants into the country. Dual points of view are presented in this moving and intelligent contemporary novel set in Australia. Eleventh-grader Mina is smart and self-possessed—her mother and stepfather (her biological father was murdered in Afghanistan) have moved their business and home across Sydney in order for her to attend Victoria College. She's determined to excel there, even though being surrounded by such privilege is a culture shock for her. When she meets white Michael, the two are drawn to each other even though his close-knit, activist family espouses a political viewpoint that, though they insist it is merely pragmatic, is unquestionably Islamophobic. Tackling hard topics head-on, Abdel-Fattah explores them fully and with nuance. True-to-life dialogue and realistic teen social dynamics both deepe n the tension and provide levity. While Mina and Michael's attraction seems at first unlikely, the pair's warmth wins out, and readers will be swept up in their love story and will come away with a clearer understanding of how bias permeates the lives of those targeted by it. A meditation on a timely subject that never forgets to put its characters and their stories first. (Fiction. 12-17) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





Suddenly Dad's face breaks out into a grin. "Michael! Look!" I glance in the direction he's motioning and, noticing a reporter and cameraman, smile. "Your mum's press release must have worked." He runs his fingers through his thinning hair and readjusts the flag. "How do I look?" "Like the leader of a new political organization," I say proudly. "Who's sweltering under that thing. Don't forget it's all about the sound bites. Aussie Values aims to represent the silent majority blah blah. The kind of thing you and Mum were practicing last night." "We have about fifty members," Dad says with a grin. "In a population of twenty-three million, I wouldn't say that really constitutes a majority." He leans in close to me and winks conspiratorially. "But nobody needs to know that, hey, mate?" The chants of the other protestors are getting louder. Rick, from our side, starts up a chant in reply. Game on. The atmosphere is electric, and people are fired up on both sides. And then I see her. Her eyes. I've never seen eyes like hers before. What color are they? Hazel and green and flecks of autumn and bits of emerald and I'm standing holding my sign and there she is, standing steps away, near the cop, holding hers (It's Not Illegal to Seek Asylum), and all I can think about is how the hell I'm going to take my eyes off her. Her hair is jet black, hanging loose down her back, and I think hair that gorgeous has no business being on someone like her. She's wearing jeans and a plain white T-shirt. She's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen and it stupidly, inexplicably, throws me.






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